Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/29084

Mid-Holocene Social Interaction in Melanesia: New Evidence from Hammer-Dressed Obsidian Stemmed Tools

File Size Format  
AP_V48No1_torrence.pdf 10.87 MB Adobe PDF View/Open

Item Summary

dc.contributor.author Torrence, Robin
dc.contributor.author Swadling, Pamela
dc.contributor.author Kononenko, Wallace Ambrose
dc.contributor.author Rath, Pip
dc.contributor.author Glascock, Michael D.
dc.date.accessioned 2013-05-23T18:11:55Z
dc.date.available 2013-05-23T18:11:55Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.issn 0066-8435 (Print)
dc.identifier.issn 1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10125/29084
dc.description.abstract The widespread distribution in Papua New Guinea of obsidian stemmed tools dated to the mid-Holocene has led scholars to postulate the existence of large interaction spheres. A newly reported artifact from Biak Island, West Papua provides the stimulus for reconsidering the role of this tool type in regional social interaction. The tool was hammer-dressed, a technique unknown for obsidian flaked tools elsewhere in the world and only rarely applied to obsidian artifacts in Melanesia. This new find closely resembles hammer-dressed obsidian stemmed tools from Garua Island, Papua New Guinea, but these are characterized by LA/ICPMS, PIXE-PGME, and INAA to the local Baki and Kutau-Bao obsidian sources in New Britain, Papua New Guinea, whereas the Biak tool is sourced to outcrops on Lou Island in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea. Hypotheses for functional, symbolic, and social roles of hammer-dressing are explored and evaluated on the basis of replication experiments and use-wear analyses. We argue that the complex and exceptionally rare technologies used for manufacturing hammer-dressed stemmed tools and applied to obsidian acquired from two widely separated obsidian sources substantially add to previous evidence for wide-scale social interaction during the mid-Holocene. The existence of these social networks might also have provided a mechanism for the rapid, extensive spread of innovations like Austronesian languages or Lapita pottery.
dc.format.extent 30 pages
dc.language.iso en-US
dc.publisher University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
dc.relation.ispartofseries Volume 48
dc.relation.ispartofseries Number 1
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/
dc.subject Melanesia, Pacific archaeology
dc.subject stone tools
dc.subject obsidian
dc.subject hammer-dressing
dc.subject characterization
dc.subject PIXE-PIGME
dc.subject LA/ICPMS
dc.subject instrumental neutron activation analysis
dc.subject.lcsh Prehistoric peoples--Asia--Periodicals.
dc.subject.lcsh Prehistoric peoples--Oceania--Periodicals.
dc.subject.lcsh Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
dc.subject.lcsh Oceania--Antiquities--Periodicals.
dc.subject.lcsh East Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
dc.title Mid-Holocene Social Interaction in Melanesia: New Evidence from Hammer-Dressed Obsidian Stemmed Tools
dc.type Other
dc.type.dcmi Text
Appears in Collections: Asian Perspectives, 2009 - Volume 48, Number 1 (Spring)


Please email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons