Rock engravings and occupation sites in the Mount Bosavi Region, Papua New Guinea: implications for our understanding of the human presence in the Southern Highlands

Lamb, Lara and Barker, Bryce and Leavesley, Matthew and Aubert, Maxime and Fairbairn, Andrew and Manne, Tiina (2021) Rock engravings and occupation sites in the Mount Bosavi Region, Papua New Guinea: implications for our understanding of the human presence in the Southern Highlands. Archaeology in Oceania. pp. 1-18. ISSN 0728-4896


Abstract

An extensive body of engraved rock art on the Great Papuan Plateau is documented here for the first time, along with the first dates for occupation. Consisting largely of deeply abraded or pecked barred ovals and cupules, the rock art of this region does not fit comfortably into any regional models for rock art previously described. It does, however, exhibit some similarity to art in regions to the east and the west of the plateau. Subject to further archaeological testing, we present a number of exploratory hypotheses with which to explain the presence of the engravings; as part of the ethnographic and contemporary Kasua's cultural suite; as part of a relatively recent (late Holocene) migration of peoples from the Gulf to the plateau; or as part of an earlier movement of people from the west, possibly as part of the movement of people into the Sahul continent in the Late Pleistocene. We conclude that the Great Papuan Plateau is not a late and marginally occupied 'backwater' but rather part of a possible corridor of human movement across northern Sahul and a region that could allow us to better understand modern humans as they reached the Sahul continent.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: October 2021. © 2021 Oceania Publications. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst 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: 21 Oct 2021 23:29
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2021 01:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: rock art, barred ovals, cupules, engravings, Papua New Guinea, Papuan Plateau, history, archaeology
Fields of Research (2008): 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210313 Pacific History (excl. New Zealand and Maori)
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 > 4399 Other history, heritage and archaeology > 439999 Other history, heritage and archaeology not elsewhere classified
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430199 Archaeology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9503 Heritage > 950306 Conserving Pacific Peoples Heritage
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1399 Other culture and society > 139999 Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
21 INDIGENOUS > 2112 Pacific Peoples heritage and culture > 211299 Pacific Peoples heritage and culture not elsewhere classified
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1304 Heritage > 130499 Heritage not elsewhere classified
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/arco.5247
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/43968

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