Advertisement

Application of PIXE-PIGME to Archaeological Analysis of Changing Patterns of Obsidian Use in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea

  • G. R. Summerhayes
  • J. R. Bird
  • R. Fullagar
  • C. Gosden
  • J. Specht
  • R. Torrence
Part of the Advances in Archaeological and Museum Science book series (AAMS, volume 3)

Abstract

During the past twenty years, PIXE-PIGME analyses of the elemental composition of obsidian have made significant contributions to the study of resource use and distribution in the western Pacific region. More recently, detailed recording and systematic sampling of obsidian exposures combined with enhancements in the characterization technique itself have led to much finer discrimination between sources in New Britain. As a result of these advances, over 1200 archaeological samples from a large suite of sites on New Britain and other islands has been assigned to their sources. The archaeological research and the extensive characterization study reported here have revealed major changes in the exploitation of New Britain obsidian during the past 20,000 years. It is concluded that the advantages of PIXE-PIGME as a rapid, nondestructive technique for sourcing obsidian merit its wider use in archaeology.

Keywords

Source Locality Regional Group Archaeological Research Australian Museum Pacific Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allen, J. and Gosden, C. eds. 1991 Report of the Lapita Homeland Project. Occasional Paper in Prehistory 20. Canberra, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, J., Gosden, C. and White, J.P. 1989 Human Pleistocene adaptations in the tropical island Pacific: recent evidence from New Ireland, a Greater Australian outlier. Antiquity 63: 548–561.Google Scholar
  3. Ambrose, W.R. 1973: 3,000 years of trade. Australian Natural History 16: 370–373.Google Scholar
  4. Ambrose, W.R. 1976 Obsidian and its prehistoric distribution in Melanesia. In Barnard, N., ed., Ancient Chinese Bronzes and Southeast Asian Metal and other Archaeological Artefacts. Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria: 351–378.Google Scholar
  5. Ambrose, W.R. n.d. A note on obsidian density measurement for separating Melanesian obsidian sources. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  6. Ambrose, W.R. and Duerden, p 1982 PIXE analysis in the distribution and chronology of obsidian use in the Admiralty Islands. In: Ambrose, W. and Duerden, P., eds., Archaeometry: an Australasian Perspective. Canberra, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University: 83–89.Google Scholar
  7. Ambrose, W.R. and Green, R. 1972 First millennium B.C. transport of obsidian from New Britain to the Solomon Islands. Nature 237: 31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ambrose, W.R., Bird, R. and Duerden, P. 1981 The impermanence of obsidian sources in Melanesia. In: Leach, E. and Davidson, J., eds., Archaeological Studies of Pacific Stone Resources. Oxford, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 104: 1–9.Google Scholar
  9. Bellwood, P and Koon, P 1989 Lapita colonists leave boats unburned’ The question of Lapita links with Island Southeast Asia. Antiquity 63: 613–622.Google Scholar
  10. Best, S. 1987 Long distance obsidian travel and possible implications for the settlement of Fiji. Archaeology in Oceania 22: 31–32.Google Scholar
  11. Bird, R. in prep. Results of obsidian sourcing for Lapita Homeland Project. Canberra, Division of Archaeology and Natural History, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.Google Scholar
  12. Bird, R. and Russell, L.H. 1976 Applications of prompt nuclear analysis techniques to the study of artefacts including Southwest Pacific obsidian. In: Barnard, N., ed., Ancient Chinese Bronzes and Southeast Asian Metal and other Archaeological Artefacts. Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria: 317–336.Google Scholar
  13. Bird, J.R., Ambrose, W.R., Russell, L.H. and Scott, M.D. 1981a The characterisation of Melanesian obsidian sources and artefacts using proton induced gamma-ray (PIGME) emission technique. AAEC/E510. Lucas Heights, Australian Atomic Energy Commission.Google Scholar
  14. Bird, J.R., Duerden, P., Ambrose, W.R. and Leach, B.F. 1981b Pacific obsidian catalogue. In: Leach, E. and Davidson, J., eds., Archaeological Studies of Pacific Stone Resources. Oxford, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 104: 31–34.Google Scholar
  15. Bird, J.R., Duerden, P. and Wilson, D.J. 1983 Ion Beam Techniques in Archaeology and the Arts. Nuclear Science Applications 1: 357–516.Google Scholar
  16. Bird, R., Ambrose, W, Shahgholi, N. and Kannemeyer, C. 1988 Melanesian obsidian. In: Prescott, J.R., ed., Archaeometry: Australasian Studies. Adelaide, Department of Physical and Mathematical Physics, Adelaide University: 107–114.Google Scholar
  17. Coote, G.E., Whitehead, N.E. and McCallum, G.J. 1972 A rapid method of obsidian characterisation by inelastic scattering of protons. Journal of Radioanalytical Chemistry 12: 491.Google Scholar
  18. Duerden, P, Cohen, D.D., Clayton, E., Bird, J.R., Ambrose, W.R. and Leach, B.F. 1979 Elemental Analysis of Thick Obsidian Samples by Proton Induced X-ray Emission Spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry 51: 2350–2354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Duerden, P, Bird, J.R., Scott, M.D., Clayton, E., Russell, L.H., and Cohen, D.D. 1980 PIXE-PIGME studies of artefacts. Nuclear Instruments and Methods 168: 447–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Duerden, P., Clayton, E., Bird, J.R. and Cohen, D.D. 1986 Recent ion beam analysis studies on archaeology and art. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research 14: 50–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Duerden, P., Clayton, E., Bird, J.R., Ambrose, W. and Leach, E. 1987 Obsidian composition catalogue. In: Ambrose, W. and Mummery, J.M.J., eds., Archaeometry: Further Australasian Studies. Canberra, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University: 232–238.Google Scholar
  22. Fullagar, R. 1992 Lithically Lapita: functional analysis of flaked stone assemblages from West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea. In: Galipaud, J.C., ed., Poterie Lapita et peuplement. Noumea, New Caledonia, ORSTOM: 57–68.Google Scholar
  23. Fullagar, R., Ambrose, W.R., Bird, R., Specht, J., Torrence, R. and Baker, N. 1989 Stocktaking the Rocks: Obsidian sources in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Proceedings of the Sixth Australian Nuclear Techniques of Analysis. Lucas Heights (NSW), Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering: 187–189.Google Scholar
  24. Fullagar, R., Summerhayes, G.R., Ivuyo, B. and Specht, J. 1991 Obsidian sources at Mopir, West New Britain. Archaeology in Oceania 26: 110–189.Google Scholar
  25. Gosden, C. 1989 Prehistoric social landscapes of the Arawe Islands, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea. Archaeology in Oceania 24: 45–58.Google Scholar
  26. Gosden, C. 1991 Toward an understanding of the regional archaeological record from the Arawe Islands, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. In: Allen, J. and Gosden, C., eds., Report of the Lapita Homeland Project. Canberra, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Occasional Papers in Prehistory 20: 205–216.Google Scholar
  27. Green, R.C. 1979 Lapita. In: Jennings, J.D., ed., The Prehistory of Polynesia. Cambridge, Harvard University Press: 27–60.Google Scholar
  28. Green, R.C. 1987 Obsidian results from the Lapita sites of Reef-Santa Cruz Islands. In: Ambrose, W.R. and Mummery, J.M.J., eds., Archaeometry: Further Australasian Studies. Canberra, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University: 239–249.Google Scholar
  29. Green, R.C. and Anson, D. 1991. The Reber-Rakival Lapita site on Watom. Implications of the 1985 excavations at the SAC and SDI localities. In: Allen, J. and Gosden, C., eds., Report of the Lapita Homeland Project. Canberra, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Occasional Papers in Prehistory 20: 170–181.Google Scholar
  30. Hughes, R.E. 1986 Variability in Obsidian Procurement Patterns in Northeastern California and Southcentral Oregon. Berkeley, University of California Publications in Anthropology 17.Google Scholar
  31. Johnson, R.W. 1976 Late Cainozoic volcanism and plate tectonics at the southern margin of the Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea, In: Johnson, R.W., ed., Volcanism in Australasia. Amsterdam, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company: 101–116.Google Scholar
  32. Johnson, R.W., Mackenzie, D.E., Smith, I.E. and Taylor, G.A.M. 1973 Distribution and petrology of late Cenozoic volcanoes in Papua New Guinea. In: Coleman, P.J., ed., The Western Pacific: Island Arcs Marginal Seas Geochemistry. Nedlands, Western Australia, University of Western Australia Press: 523–534.Google Scholar
  33. Key, C. 1968 Trace element identification of the source of obsidian in an archaeological site in New Guinea. Nature 219: 360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Key, C. 1969 The identification of New Guinea obsidian. Archaeology and Physical Anthropology of Oceania 4: 47–55.Google Scholar
  35. Kirch, PV and Hunt, T.L., eds. 1988 Archaeology of the Lapita Cultural Complex: a critical review. Seattle, Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, Research Report 5.Google Scholar
  36. Kirch, P.V., Hunt, T.L., Weisler, M., Butler, V. and Allen, M.S. 1991 Mussau Islands prehistory: results of the 1985–86 excavations. In: Allen, J. and Gosden, C., eds., Report of the Lapita Homeland Project. Canberra, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies. Australian National University, Occasional Papers in Prehistory: 144–163.Google Scholar
  37. Lowder, G.G. and Carmichael, I. 1970 The Volcanoes and Caldera of Talasea, New Britain: Geology and Petrology. Geological Society of America Bulletin 81: 17–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pavlides, C. 1993 New archaeological research at Yombon, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Archaeology in Oceania 28: 55–59.Google Scholar
  39. Reeves, R.D. and Ward, G.K. 1976 Advances in obsidian glass studies: archaeological and geochemical perspectives. In: Taylor, R.E., ed., Advances in Obsidian Glass Studies. Princeton, New Jersey, Noyes Press: 259–287.Google Scholar
  40. Ryburn, R.J. 1975. Talasea-Gasmata, New Britain. 1:2.50,000 Geological Series - Explanatory Notes. Canberra, Department of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics, Australian Government Publishing Service.Google Scholar
  41. Smith, I.E.M. 1974 Obsidian sources in Papua New Guinea. Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania 9: 18–25.Google Scholar
  42. Smith, I.E.M., Ward, G.K. and Ambrose, W.R. 1977 Geographic distribution and the characterization of volcanic glasses in Oceania. Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania 12: 173–201.Google Scholar
  43. Specht, J. 1981 Obsidian sources at Talasea, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Journal of the Polynesian Society 90: 337–356.Google Scholar
  44. Specht, J. and Hollis, J. 1982 A new obsidian source in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Mankind 13 (5): 424–427.Google Scholar
  45. Specht, J., Fullagar, R., Torrence, R. and Baker, N. 1988 Prehistoric obsidian exchange in Melanesia: A perspective from the Talasea sources. Australian Archaeology 27: 3–16.Google Scholar
  46. Specht, J., Fullagar, R. and Torrence, R. 1991 What was the significance of Lapita pottery at Talasea? Bulletin of the Indo Pacific Prehistory Association 11: 281–294.Google Scholar
  47. Specht, J. and Fullagar, R. n.d. Preliminary report on archaeological research in West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, July - August, 1988. Unpublished report to the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies.Google Scholar
  48. Summerhayes, G.R. and Hotchkis, M. 1992 Recent advances in Melanesian obsidian sourcing: results of the 1990 and 1991 PIXE-PIGME analyses. In: Galipaud, J.C., ed., Poterie Lapita et peuplement. Noumea, ORSTOM: 127–134.Google Scholar
  49. Summerhayes, G.R. and Allen, J. 1993 The transport of Mopir obsidian to late Pleistocene New Ireland. Archaeology in Oceania 28: 145–149.Google Scholar
  50. Summerhayes, G.R., Gosden, C., Fullagar, R., Specht, J., Torrence, R., Bird, R., Shahgholi, N. and Katsaros, A. 1993 West New Britain Obsidian: Production and Consumption Patterns. In: Fankhauser, B. and Bird, J.R., eds., Archaeometry Studies in Australia 1991. Canberra, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University: 57–68.Google Scholar
  51. Torrence, R. 1992 What is Lapita about obsidian? A view from the Talasea sources. In: Galipaud, J.C., ed., Poterie Lapita et peuplement. Noumea, ORSTOM: 111–126.Google Scholar
  52. Torrence, R. and Summerhayes, G.R. 1994 How homogeneous is the Lapita Cultural Complex? Questions raised by recent fieldwork on Garua Island, Papua New Guinea. Paper presented at the 15th Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Conference, Chiang Mai, Thailand.Google Scholar
  53. Torrence, R., Specht, J. and Fullagar, R. 1990 Pompeiis of the Pacific. Australian Natural History 23: 457–463.Google Scholar
  54. Torrence, R., Specht, J., Fullagar, R. and Bird, R. 1992 From the Pleistocene to Present: Obsidian Sources in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Records of the Australian Museum Supplement 15: 83–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Torrence, R., Specht, J., Fullagar, R. and Summerhayes, G. 1996 Which obsidian is worth it? A view from the West New Britain sources. In: Irwin, G., Davidson, J. and Pawley, A. and Brown, D., eds., Oceanic Culture History: Essays in Honour of Roger Green. Wellington, New Zealand Journal of Archaeology Special Publication.Google Scholar
  56. Wall, T. 1976 Use of the research MOATA and associated facilities for the source identification of obsidian artifacts. In: Barnard, N., ed., Ancient Chinese Bronzes and Southeast Asian Metal and other Archaeological Artefacts. Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria: 337–350.Google Scholar
  57. White, J.P. 1996 Rocks in the head. In: Irwin, G., Davidson, J., Pawley, A. and Brown, D., eds., Oceanic Culture History: Essays in Honour of Roger Green. Wellington, New Zealand Journal of Archaeology Special Publication.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. R. Summerhayes
    • 1
  • J. R. Bird
    • 2
  • R. Fullagar
    • 3
  • C. Gosden
    • 4
  • J. Specht
    • 5
  • R. Torrence
    • 5
  1. 1.School of ArchaeologyLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Nuclear Science and Technology OrganizationMenaiAustralia
  3. 3.Division of AnthropologyAustralian MuseumSydneyAustralia
  4. 4.Pitt Rivers MuseumOxford UniversityOxfordUK
  5. 5.Division of AnthropologyAustralian MuseumSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations