Pleistocene landscape in West New Britain, PNG

30th December 2013

Team members pointing to artefacts in Tephra C (published in Australian Archaeology 49:44).

Team members pointing to artefacts in Tephra C (published in Australian Archaeology 49:44).

Robin Torrence, Jim Specht, Hugh Davies, Peter Ainge and Peter White

Introduction*

Holocene volcanic activity has created a well-preserved stratigraphic series of prehistoric landscapes in West New Britain, PNG which have enabled the interpretation of changing patterns of land use (e.g. Specht et al. 1991; Pavlides 1993; Torrence et al. in press). Recent fieldwork on Numundo Plantation has extended this remarkable record to include five superimposed Pleistocene surfaces each sealed beneath a volcanic tephra. This older landscape was heavily eroded leaving several small hills as remnants. Holocene tephras are draped uncomformably over the older dissected landscape. Four localities provide an opportunity for studying variations in human behaviour over a relatively large area and expand on the restricted viewpoints from rockshelters and test-pits on open sites.

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Torrence, R., J. Specht, H. Davies, P. Ainge and P. White
Pleistocene landscape in West New Britain, PNG
December 1999
49
44–45
Short Report
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