This early occupation was sporadic and fleeting, and it was followed by a phase of heavy rock-fall, which may represent the peak of the last glacial episode about 18 000 years ago.
Due to his work and the work of others, a great deal more is now known about Tasmanian prehistory, although many questions still remain to be answered.
On Hunter Island, 6 kilometres off what is now the northwestern tip of Tasmania, an occupational sequence embracing the past 23 000 years has been found in a large sea cave at Cave Bay.
Signs of both Aboriginal and European visits were found when the site was visited by Bowdler in 1973 at the suggestion of local residents.
On the dusty floor there were shells and animal bones, and on the walls numerous graffiti, the oldest of which read 'Walrus 1867'.
The remains in the cave suggest the new occupants had a well-developed coastal economy.
The contents of this midden are similar to those from the lowest levels of rocky Cape south, excavated by Rhys Jones and dated to around 8000 years old.Excavation revealed that Pleistocene occupation of Cave Bay Cave began by 22 750 BP (figure 9.2).Over the next 2000 years, half a metre of deposit built up, characterised by layers of thick ash, a few bone points and stone tools, and the smashed and burnt bones of various land animals.Large quantities of tiny intact rodent bones are indicative of the regurgitated pellets of owls, and masses of macropod and possum bones chewed into small fragments suggest the presence of the Tasmanian devil.Then about 18 000 until 7000 years ago, when the sea was close to its present position and marine shellfish were easily obtainable, the cafe again came into use.The remains in the lower layers of Cave Bay Cave are best interpreted as the debris of occasional inland hunting parties.