Obsidian artefacts and land-use in the mid-Holocene of the Willaumez Peninsula, Papua New Guinea

19th November 2013

Location of Willaumez Peninsula, West New Britain, PNG (published in Australian Archaeology 57:129).

Location of Willaumez Peninsula, West New Britain, PNG (published in Australian Archaeology 57:129).

Josh Symons

This paper addresses the land-use strategy of people occupying Willaumez Peninsula, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea, between 5900 and 3600 BP to determine whether they were mobile or sedentary. The study employs the proposition that mobile and sedentary situations have different and distinctive characteristics in the manner of flaked stone tool production and use. It develops a model that outlines expected differences in flaked stone artefact manufacture and use by mobile and sedentary populations. Mobile land-use should show both intra- and inter-site variability reflecting distance from a raw material source, and spatial differences in the production and use of raw material within the source area. Sedentary land-use should show little intra- and inter-site variability due to the concentration of activities and similar patterns of utilisation at each site. The paper tests this model through the analysis of ten flaked obsidian assemblages from Willaumez Peninsula. It concludes there is some spatial patterning in obsidian reduction that supports a model of mobile land-use between 5900 and 3600 BP.

Symons, J.
Obsidian artefacts and land-use in the mid-Holocene of the Willaumez Peninsula, Papua New Guinea
2003
57
128–134
Article
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