Rare glass spearhead found on Rottnest Island

June 7, 2017 by Jess Reid
Rare glass spearhead found on Rottnest Island
Credit: University of Western Australia

Staff and students from The University of Western Australia's School of Indigenous Studies have made an exciting discovery during a University excursion on Rottnest Island (Wadjemup).

Professor Len Collard from The University of Western Australia said the and students were at a site on Rottnest learning about the Indigenous history of the island when one of the students uncovered a sparkling object.

"Imagine our excitement when we realised it was a rare spearhead that is at least 100 years old. It's not every day that you uncover an artefact of this significance," Professor Collard said.

"The student was surprised and delighted with the which marks an exciting moment in history."

Professor Collard said UWA staff and students had uncovered a few spearheads on the island in recent years.

"We have unearthed clear glass and ceramic spearheads before, but never a spectacular emerald green glass spearhead like this one," he said.

Professor Collard said the spearheads were believed to have been used for trade and exchange, building relationships and hunting of quokkas by Indigenous male prisoners who inhabited the island more than a century ago.

"We believe the prisoners would find a place on top of a hill overlooking the mainland where they would make spear tips from scrap pieces of glass," he said.

"This discovery is important because it helps us learn about our heritage and remember our past, which is important for today and future generations."

The spearhead was re-buried at Rottnest Island to respect the Aboriginal tradition of keeping artefacts found in their resting place.

Explore further: Rare spearheads uncovered on Rottnest Island

Related Stories

Rare spearheads uncovered on Rottnest Island

October 15, 2015

Staff and students from The University of Western Australia's School of Indigenous Studies have made a surprise discovery on an excursion to Rottnest Island (Wadjemup), uncovering a rare nineteenth century glass spearhead.

Mapping the future of Rottnest's furry friends

April 9, 2015

We all know Rottnest Island's iconic quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) love eating treats from tourists and poking around inside public buildings but local researchers have identified plant species on the island that the quokkas ...

Radar search to find lost Aboriginal burial site

July 22, 2014

Scientists said Tuesday they hope that radar technology will help them find a century-old Aboriginal burial ground on an Australian island, bringing some closure to the local indigenous population.

Recommended for you

Metacognition training boosts gen chem exam scores

October 20, 2017

It's a lesson in scholastic humility: You waltz into an exam, confident that you've got a good enough grip on the class material to swing an 80 percent or so, maybe a 90 if some of the questions go your way.

Scientists see order in complex patterns of river deltas

October 19, 2017

River deltas, with their intricate networks of waterways, coastal barrier islands, wetlands and estuaries, often appear to have been formed by random processes, but scientists at the University of California, Irvine and other ...

Six degrees of separation: Why it is a small world after all

October 19, 2017

It's a small world after all - and now science has explained why. A study conducted by the University of Leicester and KU Leuven, Belgium, examined how small worlds emerge spontaneously in all kinds of networks, including ...

Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' past

October 19, 2017

Researchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representing two species of saber-toothed cats have a new take on the animals' history over the last 50,000 years. The data suggest that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.