Meaningful stones: Obsidian stemmed tools from Barema, New Britain, Papua New Guinea

06th November 2013
LR Manuscript 2012098 Figure 2

Barema 1 stemmed tool recovered intact from the bulldozed
terrace at FADP (published in Australian Archaeology 77:2).

Robin Torrence, J. Peter White and Nina Kononenko

The technology, typology, context and probable mid-Holocene date of a newly discovered group of exceptional obsidian stemmed tools at Barema, New Britain, Papua New Guinea,
opens a rare window on social life and ideology during a poorly known period in Melanesia. We argue that, because of their size, fragility and the skill required for their manufacture,
these artefacts were valuables, conferring status on their owners. Their deliberately constructed silhouette of a phallus implies that stemmed tools played a meaningful role in social and/or ritual practices.

Torrence, R., J.P. White and N. Kononenko
Meaningful stones: Obsidian stemmed tools from Barema, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
Dec 2013
77
1–8
Article
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