Keveoki 1: Exploring the hiri ceramics trade at a short-lived village site near the Vailala River, Papua New Guinea

01st June 2009

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABruno David, Nick Araho, Bryce Barker, Alois Kuaso and Ian Moffat

Investigations at the newly discovered, once-coastal but now inland archaeological village site of Keveoki 1 allows us to characterise the nature and antiquity of ancestral hiri trade ceramics around 450–500 cal. BP in the recipient Vailala River-Kea Kea villages of the Gulf Province of the southern coast of Papua New Guinea. This paper reports on the decorated ceramics from Keveoki 1, where a drainage channel cut in 2004 revealed a short-lived village site with a rich, stratified ceramic assemblage. It represents a rare account of the ceramic assemblage from a short duration village on a relic beach ridge in southern Papua New Guinea, and contributes to ongoing attempts to refine ceramic sequences in the recipient (western) end of the hiri system of long-distance maritime trade. Because of the presence of a single occupational period of a few decades at most, short duration sites such as Keveoki 1 allow for chronological refinement of ceramic conventions in a way that multilevel sites usually cannot, owing to the lack of stratigraphic mixing between chronologically separate ceramic assemblages in the former.

Image caption: Keveoki 1, showing drainage channel after heavy rains, with magnetometer survey in progress (published in Australian Archaeology 68:12).
Bruno David, Nick Araho, Bryce Barker, Alois Kuaso and Ian Moffat
Keveoki 1: Exploring the hiri ceramics trade at a short-lived village site near the Vailala River, Papua New Guinea
June 2009
68
11-22
Article
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