Aboriginal glass artefacts (AGAs) have become the ‘type fossil’ for recognizing post-contact sites in countries with colonial pasts. Whether such reliance on AGAs is a valid development is contentious as the identification of these artefacts is ambiguous. This uncertainty is amplified in densely populated urban environments such as Sydney. This thesis addresses the identification of these artefacts within this region.
Technological characteristics of Sydney’s AGAs and methodological issues in the recording of these artefacts have been analysed. A review of the patterns within this data has revealed how the identification issue has been managed in the past and how it may be improved. A review and evaluation of previous ‘criteria for identification’ has also revealed a refined approach to the identification and categorization of AGAs within Sydney and beyond. Also, cross-cultural interactions have been characterized as affected by the unique and diverse nature of the moving frontier in this region.