Abstract

The capacity to trace the movement of region-specific materials across landscapes is a key archaeological theme in investigations of community interaction and exchange. In this study I investigate the scale of raw material and artefact procurement and exchange of a range of stone tools from southwest West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea using a non-destructive geochemical technique—portable x-ray fluorescence (pXRF) spectrometry. The complex geochemistry of the Bismarck Archipelago and previous ethnographic and archaeological studies provide data that allow opportunities to explore the role of stone tools made from igneous rocks by flaking, hammer-dressing and grinding, particularly axe and adze blades, within intra- and inter-island exchange networks. The results indicate that groups residing on the southwest coast of New Britain obtained their stone tools from source regions on the north side of West New Britain, the Gazelle Pen. of East New Britain, and probably even from islands in the Vitiaz Strait and off the north coast of New Guinea. Inclusion of these south coast tools in models of past regional exchange networks, such as down-the-line exchange, greatly expands our knowledge of the role of stone tools in social interactions in the Bismarck Archipelago from the Lapita pottery period onwards.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Pengilley, 2021. Tech. Rep. Aust. Mus., Online 34: 25–45
Author
Alana Pengilley
Year
2021
Title
Geochemistry and sources of stone tools in south-west New Britain, Papua New Guinea. In From Field to Museum—Studies from Melanesia in Honour of Robin Torrence, ed. Jim Specht, Val Attenbrow, and Jim Allen
Serial Title
Technical Reports of the Australian Museum online
Volume
34
Start Page
25
End Page
45
DOI
10.3853/j.1835-4211.34.2021.1741
Language
en
Date Published
12 May 2021
Cover Date
12 May 2021
ISSN
ISSN 1835-4211 (online)
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
ANTHROPOLOGY; ARCHAEOLOGY; NEW BRITAIN
Digitized
12 May 2021
Available Online
12 May 2021
Reference Number
1741
EndNote
1741.enw
Title Page
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Complete Work
1741_complete.pdf
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