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dc.contributor.advisorSummerhayes, Glenn
dc.contributor.advisorFord, Anne
dc.contributor.authorSutton, Nicholas Peter
dc.date.available2016-11-25T03:02:08Z
dc.date.copyright2016
dc.identifier.citationSutton, N. P. (2016). Pots on the Move? The Nature of an Early Papuan Pottery Assemblage from Oposisi, Yule Island, Papua New Guinea (Thesis, Master of Arts). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/6978en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/6978
dc.description.abstractThe central concern of the present study is identifying the nature of interaction between the 2nd millennium BP communities along the Papuan South Coast that produced and used the pottery type known as Early Papuan Pottery (EPP). Until recently, EPP was the earliest known in-situ evidence of ceramics on the mainland of New Guinea, occurring between c. 2000-1200 cal BP. This was thought to reflect a post-Lapita colonisation event. Recently reported discoveries along the Papuan South Coast of Lapita sites (c. 2900 cal BP; McNiven et al. 2011) mean a re-evaluation of the nature of South Papuan colonisation and interaction is now required. To begin meeting this challenge, a combined stylistic and physicochemical analysis was undertaken on a sample of ceramics spanning the full local EPP sequence that were excavated at the Oposisi site on Yule Island. The use of physicochemical methods to study pottery production and how this changes over time can provide insights into the nature of interaction within a society. When physicochemical analysis is combined with stylistic approaches to analysing ceramics, a more nuanced picture of interaction can emerge than could be obtained with either of these approaches alone. The results of the present study suggest that, similar to a model of Lapita colonisation and interaction in the Bismarck Archipelago (Summerhayes 2000a), EPP society in the first 200 years was highly interactive and mobile, as determined from the use of a wide range of raw materials in pot production. As expected, this mobility appears to have then decreased over the next 300-400 years. An unexpected finding was a late increase in EPP mobility, as indicated by an increase in the number of clays being used by potters. Interestingly, the two highest periods of mobility during the EPP phase corresponded with the occurrence of the most striking types of decoration (shell impression and etching). Extending the argument of Summerhayes and Allen (2007), it is suggested that the elaboration of late EPP decoration might be attributable to intensified social ties between settlements in the Yule Island/Port Moresby regions, facilitating access to additional resources during a period of hardship brought about by the impact of increased El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) band variance. The previously published analysis of obsidian and chert artefacts from Oposisi (Allen et al. 2011) are interpreted here as being consistent with this model. Consideration is also given to the relationship between EPP and the recently discovered Papuan South Coast Lapita. While it is no longer tenable to claim that EPP represents the first ceramic settlement of the Papuan coast, suggestions that EPP should no longer be considered a useful marker of a distinct period of social interaction along the Papuan coast (David et al. 2012) may go a step too far. The results of the present study are consistent with a continued argument that the beginning of the EPP phase marks a separate post-Lapita colonisation event.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectPapua New Guinea
dc.subjectOposisi
dc.subjectYule Island
dc.subjectarchaeology
dc.subjectpottery
dc.subjectceramics
dc.subjectprehistory
dc.subjectmobility
dc.subjectinteraction
dc.subjectcolonisation
dc.titlePots on the Move? The Nature of an Early Papuan Pottery Assemblage from Oposisi, Yule Island, Papua New Guinea
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2016-11-25T02:46:48Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropology and Archaeology
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Arts
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters
otago.openaccessOpen
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