Greenstone distribution networks in southern New Zealand
Cable, Nicholas Matthew
This thesis examines the prehistoric distribution networks of pounamu (greenstone) in the South Island of New Zealand. It is based upon analyses of physical and location data recorded from collections of greenstone artefacts in major museums across New Zealand. Previous studies on the role of stone tools within exchange systems have focused on the key areas of raw material procurement and technological attributes. Recent studies, particularly on obsidian, have begun to merge the results of source characterisation studies with assemblage based distribution analyses. Although museum collections cannot be viewed as artefact assemblages for accurate distribution analysis, they are well suited for provided regional information on intrinsic qualities such as technological attributes and raw material availability. Comparison of independent museum samples in this study found significant consistent patterns in the regional proportional data between the samples and significant variation in source proportions between the regions. Analysis of the regional source patterns indicated that two separate distributions networks operated in the South Island, distinguished by the transportation of source material along the west and east coastlines of the South Island. In the case of the eastern coastline, this source material was transported overland from remote inland locations before being redistributed from coastal centres. The results also indicate that the two coastal networks operated independently of each other, possibly due to socio-political divisions between the east and west.
Advisor: Weisler, Marshall; Smith, Ian; Clarke, Geoff
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Anthropology
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis
62 leaves. "December 2006". University of Otago department: Anthropology.