Aboriginal stone huts along the Georgina River, southwest Queensland

L Wallis, The University of Notre Dame Australia
I Davidson
H Burke
S Mitchell
B Barker
E Hatte
N Cole
K Lowe


This paper reports on the recording of previously unpublished Aboriginal stone hut structures in southwestern Queensland. Located along a tributary of the Georgina River, these 17 structures are typical of the region, being generally circular in plan view, with an average diameter of 5m and a 1m-wide opening consistently positioned to afford protection from prevailing winds. Evidence suggests these structures were roofed with vegetation and, while they pre-date the contact period, appear also to have been used into at least the late 1800s. Artefacts associated with them include stone flakes, cores and edge-ground axe fragments, freshwater mussel shells, rifle cartridge cases, fragments of glass, and metal objects. A comparison of these stone hut structures is made with similar features from elsewhere in Australia, demonstrating that there was a widespread but consistent use of stone for construction. This short report contributes to an increasing awareness of, and literature about, built structures in traditional Aboriginal societies.