Shell adzes, exotic obsidian, and inter-island voyaging in the Early and Middle and Holocene of Wallacea

Shipton, Ceri, O'Connor, Susan, Reepmeyer, Christian, Kealy, Shimona, and Jankowski, Nathan (2019) Shell adzes, exotic obsidian, and inter-island voyaging in the Early and Middle and Holocene of Wallacea. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. (In Press)

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Abstract

The environmental extremes of the Last Glacial Maximum and the subsequent warming and sea-level rise into the Holocene had profound implications for human behavior across much of the world. In northern New Guinea, the Maluku Islands, and the Philippines, shell adzes appear during this period alongside contact between islands. In this paper we present new data from the site of Asitau Kuru, Timor-Leste, to show that the creation of shell adzes and greater inter-island connectivity also characterizes the early and middle and early Holocene in the Nusa Tenggara archipelago of southern Wallacea. We suggest that one of the functions of these shell adzes was in making dugout canoes enabling regular access to neighboring islands; the import of exotic stone materials; long-term occupation of very small islands; and, with new hook and line technology, the capture of more fish. This evidence predates the Neolithic in the region and corroborates a linguistic hypothesis that there was a pre-Austronesian interaction sphere covering much of Wallacea.

Item ID: 58961
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1556-1828
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity
Projects and Grants: ARC FL120100156, ARC CE170100015
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2019 02:41
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950502 Understanding Asias Past @ 100%
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