Abstract

The excavation of 6 [sq m] from a rock shelter in New Ireland is described. The maximum depth of deposit was 80 cm, with no clear strata being visible. A radiocarbon date of 6–7,000 years b.p. was obtained from the lowest levels, and one of 2,500 years b.p. from the middle. Faunal materials recovered include mammals (all except one still extant), lagoon fishes, reptiles and shellfish, the last being primarily from reef and lagoon environments. Artefacts from earlier levels include bone bi-points, flaked stone tools patterned similarly to those from the New Guinea Highlands and made from stone from a variety of resources, and obsidian imported from Talasea, New Britain. Obsidian from the Lou (Admiralty Is.) source, and pottery date from about 2,500 years ago. The site is the oldest so far excavated in Melanesia, and data from it provide insights into the development of trade patterns in the area over the last 7,000 years.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Downie and White, 1978, Rec. Aust. Mus. 31(19): 762–802
Author
J. E. Downie; J. Peter White
Year
1978
Title
Balof Shelter, New Ireland—report on a small excavation
Serial Title
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume
31
Issue
19
Start Page
762
End Page
802
DOI
10.3853/j.0067-1975.31.1978.220
Language
English
Date Published
31 December 1978
Cover Date
31 December 1978
ISSN
0067-1975
CODEN
RAUMAJ
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
ANTHROPOLOGY; NEW BRITAIN; NEW GUINEA; MAMMALIA
Digitized
24 December 2008
Available Online
02 March 2009
Reference Number
220
EndNote
/Uploads/Journals/17529/220.enw
Title Page
/Uploads/Journals/17529/220.pdf
File size: 90kB
Complete Work
/Uploads/Journals/17529/220_complete.pdf
File size: 3580kB