Phase 2: Mounded cultivation during the mid Holocene

Tim Denham, Jack Golson, Philip Hughes

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    For Golson and Hughes, the evidence of landuse 10,000 years ago at Kuk qualifies as agriculture, but for Denham it is insufficient to support this claim. In contrast, the appearance of mounded cultivation dating within the period 6950–6440 years ago at Kuk Swamp represents the earliest unequivocal evidence of agriculture in the highlands of New Guinea (Hope and Golson 1995: 823). Directly comparable, but later, mid Holocene remains have been documented at two other sites in the upper Wahgi Valley, Mugumamp and Warrawau, while more uncertain evidence has been documented at the more distant sites, Kana and Ruti (see Fig. 12.1). Evidence for early Phase 2 at Kuk and other sites in the highlands is central to arguments for the early and independent origins of agriculture in New Guinea (Hope and Golson 1995; Denham et al. 2003; Denham, Golson and Hughes 2004). In this chapter, archaeological remains at Kuk are considered in greater depth, because they have been investigated in greater detail and have guided the interpretation of finds at other highland sites.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTen Thousand Years of Cultivation at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (Terra Australis 46)
    Editors J. Golson, T. Denham, P. Hughes, P. Swadling and J. Muke
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    PublisherANU Press
    ISBN (Print)9781760461157
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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