Maritime coastal and island societies of Australia and New Guinea

Rowland, Michael, Shaw, Ben, and Ulm, Sean (2021) Maritime coastal and island societies of Australia and New Guinea. In: McNiven, Ian J., and David, Bruno, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Indigenous Australia and New Guinea. Oxford Handbooks Online . Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K..

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Abstract

Coasts, islands, and marine resources played a central role in the dispersal of people into and across Sahul (the combined landmass of New Guinea and Australia). This vast area spans tropical and temperate latitudes, with changes in the abundance and distribution of coastal resources having greatly influenced how people used these landscapes. Little is known of early coastal and island occupation in the millennia after colonisation because sites of this antiquity are now under water, and most islands formed in the Holocene following the postglacial rise in sea level. Current evidence indicates that small, mobile populations harvested nearshore shellfish and fish by 44–42 ka, with long-distance sea voyaging and interisland trade apparent by 25–20 ka. Increasingly intensive coast and island use is evident by the Mid-Holocene, with specialised maritime economies emerging in tropical latitudes throughout the Late Holocene. Although large gaps remain in our understanding of coastally oriented lifeways, multidisciplinary studies are increasingly challenging global paradigms about the antiquity and importance of marine resources on human cultural development.

Item ID: 68057
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-19-009561-1
Keywords: New Guinea; Australia; coasts; islands; coastal resources
Copyright Information: © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. In accordance with publisher policies, the Author Accepted Manuscript of this chapter is available Open Access from ResearchOnline@JCU from April 2023.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CE170100015)
Date Deposited: 24 May 2021 05:17
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 25%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history > 450101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander archaeology @ 50%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4513 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history > 451301 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand) @ 25%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past @ 70%
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130799 Understanding past societies not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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