Provenance and technology of lithic artifacts from the Teouma Lapita site, Vanuatu

Reepmeyer, Christian, Spriggs, Matthew, Bedford, Stuart, and Ambrose, Wallace (2011) Provenance and technology of lithic artifacts from the Teouma Lapita site, Vanuatu. Asian Perspectives, 49 (1). pp. 205-225.

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Abstract

Fifty-six obsidian artifacts and 141 non-obsidian artifacts were excavated in three field seasons at Teouma, Efate Island, central Vanuatu. Using LA-ICP-MS the majority of the obsidian artifacts were provenienced to the obsidian subsource of Kutau/Bao on West New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea. This study is the first geochemical analysis of a significant assemblage of West New Britain obsidian south of the Solomon Islands. Moreover, this finding represents only the second sizable assemblage of West New Britain obsidian in Remote Oceania beyond the Reefs–Santa Cruz Lapita sites and further establishes Vanuatu as a key area in understanding the initial Lapita settlement of Remote Oceania. Six obsidian artifacts were sourced to the Banks Islands, northern Vanuatu, supporting the hypothesis that sources there were known and utilized from the initial colonization of the Vanuatu Archipelago. A single artifact from the West New Britain subsource of Mopir was found. This is the only Lapita-period Mopir obsidian artifact found so far outside the Bismarck Archipelago. The geochemical analysis was accompanied by a quantitative attribute analysis investigating the reduction technology of the flaked assemblage. Keywords: provenance studies, obsidian exchange, Vanuatu, Lapita, colonization, western Melanesia.

Item ID: 38982
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1535-8283
Keywords: Pacific Archaeology; obsidian; sourcing studies; LA-ICP-MS
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP0556874
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2015 03:49
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210106 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl New Zealand) @ 70%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 30%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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