The Tasmanian Government has approved the proposal to build a bridge over the Jordan River levee site to continue the construction of the Brighton Bypass, sparking protest action by the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.
Mr Paton says the levee site contains a series of ‘living floors’ or ‘artefact scatters’ dating back about 40,000 years through to the present.
The artefacts are stone tools and day-to-day items used by Aboriginal people in the area.
“Just the day-to-day living tools that people used for cooking, for hunting, preparation of their food, that kind of thing.
“It’s a nice neat record of a very long span of Tasmania’s history.”
The proposal to build a bridge over the site hasn’t pleased Mr Paton either.
“I’m an archaeologist. You’d be hard pressed to find an archaeologist who’d condone covering all our sites with concrete umbrellas,” he says.
Mr Paton says his team have uncovered a just a fraction of the items still contained in the sand, but what they have already dug up is enough to keep their research going for years.