Kutikina Cave

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kutikina Cave
Kutikina Cave
Kutikina Cave
location in Australia
Kutikina Cave
Kutikina Cave
Kutikina Cave (Australia)
Alternative nameFraser Cave
LocationSouth West Wilderness
RegionTasmania, Australia
Coordinates42°31′42″S 145°46′8.4″E / 42.52833°S 145.769000°E / -42.52833; 145.769000Coordinates: 42°31′42″S 145°46′8.4″E / 42.52833°S 145.769000°E / -42.52833; 145.769000
Site notes
Excavation dates1980s
ArchaeologistsDon Ranson and Rhys Jones

Kutikina Cave (or Kuti Kina or Fraser Cave) is a rock shelter located on the Franklin River in the South West Wilderness, a World Heritage Area in the Australian state of Tasmania.

Originally referred to as Fraser Cave, it was important in the establishment of the antiquity and range of Aboriginal occupation in Tasmania during the Pleistocene.[1]

Archaeological results[edit]

The cave was discovered in 1977 by geomorphology student, Kevin Kiernan and investigated by a team led by archeologists Don Ranson and Rhys Jones in the 1980s. Excavations were undertaken in 1981 by Jones and Kiernan at the height of the protests over the proposed Franklin Dam construction.[2] The cave has important archaeological deposits relating to human occupation in the Pleistocene, with evidence of wallaby hunting at a time the landscape was an open tundra and it was the most southerly human occupation in the world during the last ice age. The archaeological evidence showed that this was one of the richest artefact deposits ever found, in Tasmania and in Australia. over 250,000 fragments of bone and 75,000 stone artefacts were recovered from a relatively small excavation area comprising only 1% of the artefact-bearing deposit in the cave. The bone fragments were predominantly Bennets Wallaby long bones which had been split along their length to extract the marrow.[3]

Politics and conservation[edit]

Kutikina played an important role in the Franklin Dam controversy. It was initially named "Fraser Cave" by Kieran, after the then prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, with the aim of drawing attention to the significance of the Tasmanian wilderness and Franklin River, which were under threat from a dam proposed by the Tasmanian Hydro-Electric Commission.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Australia: The Land Where Time Began, A biography of the Australian continent, Kutikina Cave "spirit" (Frazer Cave)". Austhrutime.com. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  2. ^ Kevin Kiernan; Rhys Jones; Don Ranson (6 January 1983). "'New evidence from Fraser Cave for glacial age man in south-west Tasmania'". Nature. 301 (301): 28–32. doi:10.1038/301028a0. S2CID 4361464.
  3. ^ "Holdaway, S. 2004 Report of the Southern Forests Archaeological Project: Continuity and Change: An Investigation of the Flaked Stone Artefacts from the Pleistocene Deposits at Bone Cave, Southwest Tasmania, Australia. Volume 2. Bundoora: Archaeology Program, School of Historical and European Studies, La Trobe University". Library.uq.edu.au. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  4. ^ "AUSTRALIA : An Ice Age - Walk to Tasmania". Janesoceania.com. Retrieved 16 November 2014.