The power of paradigms

examining the evidential basis for early to mid-Holocene pigs and pottery in Melanesia

Sue O'Connor, Anthony Barham, Kenneth Aplin, Keith Dobney, Andrew Fairbairn, Michael Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The origin and timing of the introduction of pigs and pottery into New Guinea are contentious topics. Arguments have centred on whether domestic pigs and pottery technology entered New Guinea following the ‘Austronesian expansion’ from Southeast Asia into Island Melanesia, c. 3,300 calBP, or in the early to mid-Holocene. We review the history of the debate and present new dates on pig bone and pottery contexts from archaeological sites, including Taora and Lachitu, on the north coast of mainland Papua New Guinea (PNG), where earlier data supported claims for early pig and pottery. We argue that theoretical positions about ‘Neolithic’ origins in PNG influenced the relative willingness to accept early dates prima facie and conclude that current evidence shows neither pig nor pottery arrived before 3,000 calBP in mainland PNG.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Pacific Archaeology
Volume2
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Pottery
Mid-Holocene
Melanesia
Paradigm
Evidentials
Pig
Papua New Guinea
New Guinea
Willingness
History
Archaeological Sites
Domestic pig
Coast
Island Southeast Asia

Keywords

  • Papua New Guinea archaeology
  • pottery
  • animal domestication
  • Neolithic

Cite this

The power of paradigms : examining the evidential basis for early to mid-Holocene pigs and pottery in Melanesia. / O'Connor, Sue; Barham, Anthony; Aplin, Kenneth; Dobney, Keith; Fairbairn, Andrew; Richards, Michael.

In: Journal of Pacific Archaeology, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2011, p. 1-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

O'Connor, Sue ; Barham, Anthony ; Aplin, Kenneth ; Dobney, Keith ; Fairbairn, Andrew ; Richards, Michael. / The power of paradigms : examining the evidential basis for early to mid-Holocene pigs and pottery in Melanesia. In: Journal of Pacific Archaeology. 2011 ; Vol. 2, No. 2. pp. 1-25.
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