Abstract

This paper reports a pilot study undertaken at the Lavongai rectilinear earth mounds site in New Hanover, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The objective of the study was to determine whether the mounds were formed as part of a prehistoric agricultural system. X-ray Diffraction and phytolith analyses were used on a series of sediment samples from a test pit excavated into one of the Lavongai mounds. The phytolith results indicate a change from forest species in the lowest samples to grass species in the highest samples and the presence of a variety of plant species recorded in the ethnography of medicinal plants. The XRD results indicate that the sediments throughout the depth of the mound have a similar origin, suggesting that the changes in phytoliths do not represent changes in the source of the sediments. It is proposed that the phytolith results reflect four phases of gardening practices beginning between c. 3000 bp and c. 4000 bp.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Leavesley and Troitzsch, 2007, Tech. Rep. Aust. Mus., online 20: 245–254
Author
Matthew G. Leavesley; Ulrike Troitzsch
Year
2007
Title
Archaeological Studies of the Middle and Late Holocene, Papua New Guinea. Part VIII. A preliminary study into the Lavongai rectilinear earth mounds: an XRD and phytolith analysis
Serial Title
Technical Reports of the Australian Museum (online)
Volume
20
Start Page
245
End Page
254
DOI
10.3853/j.1835-4211.20.2007.1480
Language
English
Date Published
12 December 2007
Cover Date
12 December 2007
ISSN
1835-4211
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
ANTHROPOLOGY; ARCHAEOLOGY; NEW GUINEA
Digitized
12 December 2007
Available Online
12 December 2007
Reference Number
1480
EndNote
/Uploads/Journals/18055/1480.enw
Title Page
/Uploads/Journals/18055/1480.pdf
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Complete Work
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