Lolmo Cave: A Mid- to Late Holocene Site, the Arawe Islands, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea

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1994
Authors
Gosden, Chris
Webb, John
Marshall, Brendan
Summerhayes, Glenn R.
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University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
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Abstract
Lolmo Cave on Kumbun Island in the Arawe Island group off the south coast of New Britain, Papua New Guinea, was occupied between 6000 B.P. and the present. It is therefore one of a small number of sites that spans the pre-Lapita, Lapita, and post-Lapita periods. The chronology of the cave derives partly from tephras from dated eruptions on the north coast of New Britain. The evidence from the cave shows elements of continuity between all three periods in the use of obsidian from Talasea sources and in the production of shell artifacts. The main change in material culture is in the introduction of pottery and the use of Mopir obsidian in the pre- and post-Lapita periods, but not in between. The bone assemblages indicate ephemeral use of the cave in all periods, as does the generally low level of artifact deposition. The first occupation of Lolmo 6000 years ago coincides with changes in the nature of the evidence elsewhere in the Bismarck Archipelago. Taken together, these sites provide evidence for continuity between the pre-Lapita and Lapita periods, providing empirical contradiction to the notion that Lapita assemblages represent the incursion of people from the west and thus a break with the past. KEYWORDS: Lapita, pre-Lapita, Melanesia, formation processes, continuity.
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Keywords
Lapita, pre-Lapita, Melanesia, formation processes, continuity
Citation
Gosden, C., J. Webb, B. Marshall, G. R. Summerhayes. 1994. Lolmo Cave: A Mid- to Late Holocene Site, the Arawe Islands, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea. Asian Perspectives 33 (1): 97-119.
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