New direction in human colonisation of the Pacific: Lapita settlement of south coast New Guinea

McNiven, Ian J., David, Bruno, Richards, Thomas, Aplin, Ken, Asmussen, Brit, Mialanes, Jerome, Leavesley, Matthew, Faulkner, Patrick, and Ulm, Sean (2011) New direction in human colonisation of the Pacific: Lapita settlement of south coast New Guinea. Australian Archaeology, 72. pp. 1-6.

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Abstract

Expansion of Austronesian-speaking peoples from the Bismarck Archipelago out into the Pacific commencing c.3300 cal BP represents the last great chapter of human global colonisation. The earliest migrants were bearers of finely-made dentate-stamped Lapita pottery, hitherto found only across Island Melanesia and western Polynesia. We document the first known occurrence of Lapita peoples on the New Guinea mainland. The new Lapita sites date from 2900 to 2500 cal BP and represent a newly-discovered migratory arm of Lapita expansions that moved westwards along the southern New Guinea coast towards Australia. These marine specialists ate shellfish, fish and marine turtles along the Papua New Guinea mainland coast, reflecting subsistence continuities with local pre-Lapita peoples dating back to 4200 cal BP. Lapita artefacts include characteristic ceramics, shell armbands, stone adzes and obsidian tools. Our Lapita discoveries support hypotheses for the migration of pottery-bearing Melanesian marine specialists into Torres Strait of northeast Australia c.2500 cal BP.

Item ID: 17433
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: archaeology, Lapita, Pacific archaeology, coastal and island archaeology, Caution Bay, Papua New Guinea
ISSN: 0312-2417
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2011 06:35
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210106 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl New Zealand) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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