Distribution and extirpation of pigs in Pacific Islands: a case study from Palau

Clark, Geoffrey, Petchey, Fiona, Hawkins, Stuart, Reepmeyer, Christian, Smith, Ian, and Masse, W. Bruce (2013) Distribution and extirpation of pigs in Pacific Islands: a case study from Palau. Archaeology in Oceania, 48 (3). pp. 141-153.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arco.5012
 
15
2


Abstract

Neolithic arrival in the Pacific involved, as in other parts of the world, the translocation of domesticated plants and animal by pottery-making cultures in prehistory. Globally uncommon, though, was the abandonment of pottery on some islands and the extirpation of the pig (Sus scrofa/verrucosus) and dog (Canis familiaris) – the two largest mammalian quadrupeds introduced to Oceania –from the subsistence and cultural system. This paper examines the extirpation of pigs from the Palau Islands as a case study to understand why an important domesticate has such an uneven prehistoric distribution. When suids are fed agricultural produce required to sustain the human population it has been proposed that competition and extirpation will result, especially on small islands with limited arable land. However, pigs are considered problem animals in many environments because of the damage they cause to horticultural production, particularly the effects of free-range pigs on gardens and plantations. It is suggested that extirpation and low-level animal keeping are a response to the threat pigs pose to plant food yields and social relations.

Item ID: 38977
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1834-4453
Keywords: domestication, pig, Pacific, extirpation, agriculture
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 28 May 2015 03:19
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 40%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210106 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl New Zealand) @ 60%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page