The molluscan remains of Tanamu 1: Subsistence and resource habitats

Asmussen, Brit, Faulkner, Patrick, Szabó, Katherine, and Ulm, Sean (2022) The molluscan remains of Tanamu 1: Subsistence and resource habitats. In: David, Bruno, Szabó, Katherine, Leavesley, Matthew, McNiven, Ian J., Ash, Jeremy, and Richards, Thomas, (eds.) The Archaeology of Tanamu 1: A Pre-Lapita to Post-Lapita Site from Caution Bay, South Coast of Mainland Papua New Guinea. Caution Bay Studies in Archaeology, 2 . Archaeopress, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 107-116.

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[Extract] The molluscan assemblage reported here is from Tanamu 1 at Caution Bay, an archaeological site dating from c.5,000 cal BP to c. 100 cal BP. Two 1m × 1m squares (A and B) were excavated in 2.1 ± 0.5cm excavation units (XUs) to 2.82m depth, with all excavated materials retained in 2.1mm mesh sieves undergoing systematic analysis in dedicated archaeological laboratories (see Chapter 2 for excavation details). The 134 XUs at Tanamu 1 are partitioned into seven major stratigraphic horizons or units (SUs), each continuous across the two contiguous main excavated squares (A and B). SU1 (700–c. 100 cal BP), SU3 (2800–c. 2750 cal BP) and SU5 (4350–4050 cal BP) consist of rich cultural deposits (the Upper, Middle and Lower Horizons respectively); which are separated by the culturally sparser SU2, SU4 and basal SU6–SU7. SU1, SU3 and SU5 contain pronounced and distinct shell concentrations: XU3–XU6 (Upper Horizon); XU24–XU35 (Middle Horizon) and XU48–XU69 (Lower Horizon). In each of these, the total shell weight is on average >2000g for each XU from Square A and Square B combined. These dense shell horizons correspond with the three dense occupation horizons identified for the site as a whole, associated with pre-ceramic, Lapita and post-Lapita occupation periods. Excavation at Tanamu 1 produced a total shell sample of 127,355.6g, with Square A containing 62,270.3g and Square B 65,085.3g. While the majority of these shells represent discarded food remains, a number of shell artefacts were also recovered. The shell artefacts are presented separately. However, they are included in the weights and MNI counts reported here. The clearly stratified Tanamu 1 cultural sequence provides an ideal opportunity to investigate change over time in the use of molluscan resources.

Item ID: 74831
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 9781803270890
Keywords: archaeomalacology; Lapita; Papua New Guinea
Copyright Information: © the individual authors and Archaeopress 2022. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CE170100015)
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 01:37
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 50%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4513 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history > 451301 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130799 Understanding past societies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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