Ruisasi 1 and the earliest evidence of mass-produced ceramics in Caution Bay (Port Moresby Region), Papua New Guinea

David, Bruno, Jones-Amin, Holly, Richards, Thomas, Mialanes, Jerome, Asmussen, Brit, Petchey, Fiona, Aplin, Ken, Leavesley, Matthew, McNiven, Ian J., Zetzmann, Camille, Rowe, Cassandra, Skelly, Robert, Jenkins, Robyn, Faulkner, Patrick, and Ulm, Sean (2016) Ruisasi 1 and the earliest evidence of mass-produced ceramics in Caution Bay (Port Moresby Region), Papua New Guinea. Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 7 (1). pp. 41-60.

PDF (Author accepted version) - Accepted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview
[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


The history of pottery use along the south coast of Papua New Guinea spans from Lapita times, here dated to 2900–2600 cal BP, through to mass production of pottery associated with a number of ethnographically-known interaction (and exchange) networks. Understanding the antecedents and developmental histories of these interaction networks is of considerable importance to archaeological research from local to western Pacific geographical scales. The archaeological site of Ruisasi 1 located at Caution Bay near Port Moresby provides new insights into scales of pottery production before the development of the regional Motu hiri exchange system within the past 500 years. Here faunal remains indicate occupation by marine specialists who exploited a diverse range of local marine environments. Nearly 20,000 ceramic sherds are present in Square A, mostly from a 26 cm thick 'pottery midden'. A minimum of 45 red slip/plainware vessels based on conjoined sets of sherds plus two vessels with incised decoration are present; the maximum number of clay vessels based on Fabric Types is 146. The globular red slip/plainware pots have standardised shapes and sizes, consistent with mass pottery production. The concentration of sherds from these pots within the pottery midden reflects shortduration depositional events within the period of village life c. 1680–1180 cal BP. Whether or not the pots were made locally or imported is the subject of ongoing research. Whatever the case, Ruisasi 1 raises the possibility of mass pottery production linked to a regional interaction network pre-dating the hiri.

Item ID: 42477
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1179-4712
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DORA Fellowship DP130102514, ARC Future Fellowship project number FT120100656
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 06:08
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4513 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history > 451301 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%
Downloads: Total: 550
Last 12 Months: 107
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page