Colonisation of remote Oceania: new dates for the Bapot-1 site in the Mariana Islands

Petchey, Fiona, Clark, Geoffrey, Winter, Olaf, O'Day, Patrick, and Litster, Mirani (2017) Colonisation of remote Oceania: new dates for the Bapot-1 site in the Mariana Islands. Archaeology in Oceania, 52. pp. 108-126.

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The colonisation of the Mariana Islands in Western Micronesia is likely to represent a long-distance ocean dispersal of more than 2000 km, and establishing the date of human arrival in the archipelago is important for modelling Neolithic expansion in Island South-East Asia and the Pacific. In 2010, Clark et al. published a paper discussing a number of radiocarbon dates from the Bapot-1 site on Saipan Island, but a disparity between charcoal and marine shell (Anadara sp.) results prevented the calculation of a definitive age for the site and left open the possibility that Bapot-1 was first settled as early as 3500 calBP. Here, we present new research using a combination of stable isotope (δ13C and δ18O) and 14C information to demonstrate that A. antiquata from the lowest layers of Bapot-1 is affected by hardwaters. These new results indicate human arrival at Bapot-1 occurred around 3200–3080 calBP (1250–1130 BC). We recommend a similar isotopic evaluation for other sites in the Marianas that are dated by marine shell.

Item ID: 71075
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1834-4453
Keywords: Marianas; colonisation; hardwater; radiocarbon; Anadara; Tegillarca
Copyright Information: © 2016 Oceania Publications
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 02:14
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 100%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past @ 100%
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