The Emo Site (OAC), Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea: Resolving long-standing questions of antiquity and implications for the history of the ancestral hiri maritime trade

01st June 2010

David et al A70 Figure5

The Aird Hills: emo, with Kumukumu mountain in the background (photograph by Bruno David) (image from Australian Archaeology 70:41).

Bruno David, Jean-Michel Geneste, Ken Aplin, Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Nick Araho, Chris Clarkson, Kate Connell, Simon Haberle, Bryce Barker, Lara Lamb, John Stanisic, Andrew Fairbairn, Robert Skelly and Cassandra Rowe

Since the 1970s the site of Emo (aka ‘Samoa’, ‘OAC’) in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea has been cited as one of the earliest-known ceramic sites from the southern Papuan lowlands. This site has long been seen as holding c.2000 year old evidence of post-Lapita long-distance maritime trade from (Austronesian-speaking) Motu homelands in the Central Province, where pottery was manufactured, to the (non-Austronesian) Gulf Province some 400 km to the west where pottery was received and for which large quantities of sago were exchanged (the ancestral hiri trade). However, until now the only three radiocarbon dates available for Emo were out of chronostratigraphic sequence, and few details on the site had been published. This paper presents the results of new excavations and the first detailed series of AMS radiocarbon determinations from Emo, thereby resolving long-standing uncertainties about the age of the site and its implications for the antiquity of the long-distance Motuan hiri maritime trade.

Bruno David, Jean-Michel Geneste, Ken Aplin, Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Nick Araho, Chris Clarkson, Kate Connell, Simon Haberle, Bryce Barker, Lara Lamb, John Stanisic, Andrew Fairbairn, Robert Skelly and Cassandra Rowe
The Emo Site (OAC), Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea: Resolving long-standing questions of antiquity and implications for the history of the ancestral hiri maritime trade
June 2010
70
39-54
Article
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