Research Issues in the Circum-New Guinea Islands

J. Specht

in The Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Oceania

ISBN: 9780199925070
Published online October 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199984428 | DOI:
Research Issues in the Circum-New Guinea Islands

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Writing an archaeological prehistory of the New Guinea islands in northern Near Oceania is hindered by the paucity of field research and reliance on other disciplines to fill gaps in the archaeological data. Five themes are reviewed that require attention: better chronological controls for the archaeological sites, testing of theories about Pleistocene colonization and subsequent population movements, reconstruction of paleoenvironmental conditions from first settlement onward, exploration of subsistence systems especially regarding the use and management of plant foods, and a broader view of the nature and consequences of interaction between individuals and communities. It concludes with a call for greater involvement of Pacific Islanders in the production of regional and local prehistories.

Keywords: New Guinea islands; chronology; Pleistocene colonization; paleoenvironmental reconstruction; subsistence systems; interaction

Article.  10315 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology by Region

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