The aim of this study is to investigate ways in which chronological and spatial changes in numbers of archaeological sites and stone artefacts can be interpreted and explained in terms of demography and human behaviour, using the Upper Mangrove Creek catchment as a case study. The original research aim of my doctoral thesis, however, was to investigate precolonial land-use and subsistence strategies in the coastal regions of south-eastern New South Wales, that is, the land between the Great Dividing Range and its associated ranges and the ocean shoreline. This strip of land can be divided into two geographical / environmental zones:
the coastal plain associated with the shoreline or maritime zone, and the coastal hinterland. The central NSW coastal hinterland, except for areas such as the Cumberland Plain and Hunter Valley lowlands (respectively, to the south and north of the Upper Mangrove Creek catchment), is predominantly forested hills, ranges and dissected sandstone plateaux, which is often very rugged country. The Upper Mangrove Creek catchment lies within the coastal hinterland.