Middle to late Holocene near-shore foraging strategies at Caution Bay, Papua New Guinea

Faulkner, Patrick and Thangavelu, Anbarasu and Ferguson, Redbird and Aird, Samantha J. and David, Bruno and Drury, Tanya and Rowe, Cassandra and Barker, Bryce and McNiven, Ian J. and Richards, Thomas and Leavelsey, Matthew and Asmussen, Brit and Lamb, Lara and Ulm, Sean (2020) Middle to late Holocene near-shore foraging strategies at Caution Bay, Papua New Guinea. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 34 (A):102629. pp. 1-14. ISSN 2352-409X


Caution Bay, on the South Coast of Papua New Guinea, offers a unique opportunity to assess the possible impacts of predation by pre-Lapita, Lapita, and post-Lapita peoples on local mollusc resources from at least 5000 years ago. Using biometric analysis of the bivalve Anadara antiquata and gastropod Conomurex luhuanus from the site of Tanamu 1, we examine trends in size and maturity variability through time. Results indicate a reduction in valve size of A. antiquata from c. 5000–2800 cal BP (the pre-Lapita period) to c. 2800–2750 cal BP (falling during the Lapita period), while C. luhuanus undergoes a change in maturity categories between the Lapita period and c. 700–100 cal BP (post-Lapita), with the latter containing lower proportions of both immature and mature individuals. Considering that these two mollusc taxa have the capacity to resist high predation pressures through their reproductive strategies and growth rates, in combination with low discard rates throughout Tanamu 1, it is unlikely that the observed trends are solely related to human predation. Rather, set against a context of significant environmental variability and shifting habitats through time, the pre-Lapita, Lapita, and post-Lapita phases represent significant socio-economic changes, whereby there is a shift from mobile foraging to an increasing reliance upon agriculture. It is therefore likely that there were a range of environmental and socio- economic factors influencing mollusc harvesting and the foraging economy more broadly through time.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Heritage and Culture (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2020 01:31
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2020 01:00
Uncontrolled Keywords: archaeomalacology; marine subsistence; coastal foraging; biometric analysis; Lapita
Fields of Research (2008): 21 History and Archaeology > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science
21 History and Archaeology > 2101 Archaeology > 210106 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand)
Fields of Research (2020): 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4513 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history > 451301 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102629
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/40077

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