Shell Adzes, Exotic Obsidian, and Inter-Island Voyaging in the Early and Middle Holocene of Wallacea [IN PRESS]

Ceri Shipton, Susan O'Connor, Christian Reepmeyer, Shimona Kealy, Nathan R. Jankowski

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The environmental extremes of the Last Glacial Maximum and the subsequent warming and sea-level rise into the Holocene had profound implications for human behavior across much of the world. In northern New Guinea, the Maluku Islands, and the Philippines, shell adzes appear during this period alongside contact between islands. In this paper we present new data from the site of Asitau Kuru, Timor-Leste, to show that the creation of shell adzes and greater inter-island connectivity also characterizes the early and middle and early Holocene in the Nusa Tenggara archipelago of southern Wallacea. We suggest that one of the functions of these shell adzes was in making dugout canoes enabling regular access to neighboring islands; the import of exotic stone materials; long-term occupation of very small islands; and, with new hook and line technology,nthe capture of more fish. This evidence predates thenNeolithic in the region and corroborates a linguistic hypothesis thatnthere was a pre-Austronesian interaction sphere covering muchnof Wallacea.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)525-546
    JournalJournal of Island and Coastal Archaeology
    Volume15
    Issue number0
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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