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Provenance and Technology of Lithic Artifacts from the Teouma Lapita Site, Vanuatu

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Title:Provenance and Technology of Lithic Artifacts from the Teouma Lapita Site, Vanuatu
Authors:Reepmeyer, Christian
Spriggs, Matthew
Bedford, Stuart
Ambrose, Wallace
Keywords:provenance studies
obsidian exchange
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LC Subject Headings:Prehistoric peoples--Asia--Periodicals.
Prehistoric peoples--Oceania--Periodicals.
East Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
Date Issued:2010
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Series:Volume 49
Number 1
Abstract:Fifty-six obsidian artifacts and 141 non-obsidian artifacts were excavated in three field seasons at Teouma, Efate Island, central Vanuatu. Using LA-ICP-MS the majority of the obsidian artifacts were provenienced to the obsidian subsource of Kutau/Bao on West New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea. This study is the first geochemical analysis of a significant assemblage of West New Britain obsidian south of the Solomon Islands. Moreover, this finding represents only the second sizable assemblage of West New Britain obsidian in Remote Oceania beyond the Reefs–Santa Cruz Lapita sites and further establishes Vanuatu as a key area in understanding the initial Lapita settlement of Remote Oceania. Six obsidian artifacts were sourced to the Banks Islands, northern Vanuatu, supporting the hypothesis that sources there were known and utilized from the initial colonization of the Vanuatu Archipelago. A single artifact from the West New Britain subsource of Mopir was found. This is the only Lapita-period Mopir obsidian artifact found so far outside the Bismarck Archipelago. The geochemical analysis was accompanied by a quantitative attribute analysis investigating the reduction technology of the flaked assemblage.
Pages/Duration:21 pages
ISSN:0066-8435 (Print)
1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections: Asian Perspectives, 2010 - Volume 49, Number 1 (Spring)

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