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THE U / Sociology / ANTH 3151 / Where is wallacea?

Where is wallacea?

Where is wallacea?


School: University of Utah
Department: Sociology
Course: Peoples of the Pacific
Professor: Dr. adrian bell
Term: Spring 2017
Tags: colonization, Anthropology, Archaeology, Sahul, Sundra, Peoples, Pacific, Polynesia, Oceania, and Melanesia
Cost: 25
Name: ANTH 3151 – Week 3: Colonization of Sahul
Description: These notes cover all of the course material, including both class lectures and assigned readings, for the third week of class.
Uploaded: 01/29/2017
7 Pages 48 Views 2 Unlocks

ANTH 3151 – Week 3: Colonization of Sahul

Where is wallacea?

Definitions Key Concepts Locations 

Huan Peninsula 

∙ Northern Papua New Guinea

∙ Among the oldest manifestations of a human presence in the Australia-New  Guinea region

 Discovery of crude axes (also known as waisted axes) placed them at  40-60 ,000 years old

 Note: waisted axes may represent early stages in an evolutionary  progression from forest foraging, through intermediate stages of food plant promotion and forest management, leading ultimately to plant  domestication and true gardening.

Note: by the Pleistocene era the Australian Plate was in its modern position,  separated from the Asian mainland by deep oceanic trenches in the Wallacean  region.

What is the meaning of pleistocene global sea levels?


∙ Primarily Sulawesi, Ambon, Ceram, Halmahera, and the Lesser Sundas ∙ To the western side is the vast Sunda, to the east is the enlarged "Greater  Australian" continent Sahul.

∙ Note: the islands of New Oceania (the Bismarcks and Solomons) were  likewise never connected to Sahul by dry land

 Deep water trenches also separate these from the Australian Plate  This isolation gave rise to marked biogeographic patterns, for the  diversity of marsupials, birds, and other life forms drops off rapidly as one  leaves New Guinea and moves progressively through the Bismarck and  Solomon Archipelagoes If you want to learn more check out What are observable implications?
We also discuss several other topics like What are the disadvantages of cross-sectional studies?

Pleistocene Global Sea Levels 

∙ Sea level curves for the past 140,000 years indicates that the periods of  greatest fall were about 140,000-80,000 years ago,  

What are the characteristics of the new guinea highlands?

 Maximal periods of drops over 100 meters

∙ Between these two maximal periods, were less than pronounced cycles with  drops of 20-60 meters.

∙ Note: peopling of Sahul did not correlate with one of the maximal periods of  sea level lowering and maximal exposure of dry land

 Human colonization of this region was most likely effected during the  interval between 60-40 kya

 The arrival of humans into Sahul necessitated over-water transport  (also the case with Near Oceania) --> *archaeologists are most likely  dealing with the earliest purposive voyaging in the history of humankind.  

Initial Human Arrival in - Sahul and Near Oceania 

∙ Surprisingly, early sites are distributed over virtually the entire geographic  expanse of Sahul and Near Oceania We also discuss several other topics like What happens if the popliteal artery is blocked?

 Homo sapiens populations rapidly spread out over these new lands

 Early modern humans were able to move into, exploit, and  permanently inhabit a remarkable range of habitats, from the tundra-like  high latitudes of Tasmania, through the deserts of Australia, to the humid  topical forests of New Guinea and the Bismarcks.

∙ Note: initial entry into Sahul occurred at least 40 kya, and colonization of the  entire Sahul - Near Oceanic area from Tasmania to New Ireland was  accomplished by 35-36 kya

∙ Fish bones and shellfish remains from the Matenkupkum site of New Ireland  are possibly the earliest evidence of marine resource exploitation anywhere in  the world.  

New Guinea Highlands 

∙ People have been present in these intermontane valleys for more than thirty  millennia We also discuss several other topics like How do you convert fischer projection to haworth projection?
Don't forget about the age old question of What attaches to lateral border of scapula?

∙ The landscape, with its extensive grasslands, has been radically shaped by  the cumulative actions of many human generations

∙ Direct evidence is limited to materials from a handful of excavated and  published sites

 Material culture found in these sites consists largely of amorphous  stone flake and core tools, axes similarly found in Huan

∙ Limited evidence of diet and economy

∙ During the Pleistocene, there were a remarkable range of marsupial  megafauna, all becoming extinct by the early Holocene

 Seven species of large, herbivorous marsupials have been identified  Offered substantial food packages to Highlands hunters

Bismarck Archipelagoes and Solomons 

∙ In 1985, the international Lapita Homeland Project (LHP) sent several teams  of archaeologists into the field throughout this area

 Prior to LHP, relatively little was known of the prehistory of this vast arc of islands

∙ All evidence pertaining to the Bismarck Archipelago sites is still new, and  since several sites have not yet been fully analyzed or reported, a detailed  understanding of the 25,000 years of Pleistocene history represented in these  sites lies in the future. If you want to learn more check out What are the regulatory transcription factors?

 We can at least rough out the framework of a prehistoric sequence for  the Bismarcks-Solomons region from 35-10 kya

∙ Note: the Bismarcks were the first true Pacific islands to be colonized,  beyond the shifting continental margins of Sahul

∙ Faunal evidence from the oldest Pleistocene sites in the Bismarcks suggests  that people exploited a wide range of both terrestrial and inshore marine  resources.

 There is as yet no material evidence for fishhooks or other  sophisticated kinds of fishing devices

∙ Two changes have captured the attention of prehistorians:

 The appears of bones of the Gray Cuscus, an arboreal marsupial

 This species is not indigenous to the Bismarcks, and is likely to  have been purposively introduced by humans into the islands from its original habitat on new Guinea

 The presence of obsidian, deriving from the Mopir and Talasea sources  on New Britain

 Indicates that people were no longer simply using local stone  resources, but were transporting - directly or through trade or  

exchange networks - a valuable lithic material over distances of up to 350 kilometers

Cultural Innovations of the Early Holocene 

∙ Archaeological discoveries in Near Oceania over the past two decades have  been those supporting this ethnobotanical hypothesis of a Near Oceanic center of early plant domestication and horticultural development.

∙ New Guinea Highlands - first three phases of intensive use of the Wahgi  Valley floor at Kuk

 Phase 1: consists of a serious of gutters, hollows, pits, and stake holes  of obvious human origin sealed beneath a telltale wedge of grey clay that  blanketed the entire valley floor

 Exact function of these features has been debated, but some  kind of simple horticultural function seems most plausible

 Phase 2: evidence for active manipulation of the swampy valley floor  At least four large channels (up to 2 meters wide and deep) that  were cut across the swamp to drain it

 Phase 3: raised bed of phase 2 had been replaced by true reticulate  drainage systems  

∙ New Guinea Lowlands and the Islands 

 Evidence for horticulture and for advances in material culture,  especially shell tool technology

 Fairly strong case for indigenous development of a kind of subsistence  system known as aboriculture: orchard-based tree cropping.

Evolutionary Trends on Islands 

∙ Major trends

 Reduced dispersal (large sedentary seeds for plants; flightlessness  among birds and insects)

 Size changes (larger due to competition, smaller due to limited  resources)

∙ Other trends

 Less conspicuous flowers (less diversity of specialist pollinators)  

Geological Epochs 

∙ Pleistocene: 2.5 mya - 12 kya

∙ Holocene: 12 kya - today

Near Oceania 

∙ By the mid-Holocene the peoples who occupied this island had developed  new subsistence strategies of food production

 Edible roots, tubers, fruit, or nuts had been brought under human  manipulation and control, domesticated through planting, tending, and  selecting.

 These changes in subsistence were accompanied by new technologies  in the working of shell and stone

∙ Linguistically, this region is one of the most complicated in the world.  Encompass at least 12 distinct language families (excluding the  Austronesian languages)  

 The Austronesian language family is the most widely dispersed  in the world, ranging from Madagascar to Rapa Nui (Easter Island),  but its speakers are concentrated in island Southeast Asia and in the  islands of the Pacific

 These are loosely grouped under the rubric Non-Austronesian or  Papuan languages

∙ Mount Witori eruption (W-K2 eruption) was one of the biggest in the planet's  history - since modern humans have existed  

 Obsidian exchange became substantial (minimal prior) following the W K2 eruption

 After this event, a highly decorated style of pottery called Lapita makes its sudden appearance in the Willaumez Peninsula

Lapita Origins 

∙ The progression of ceramic using cultures from Taiwan, through the  Philippines, and into the equatorial islands of Southeast Asia represents the  expansion of a particular ethnolinguistic group of people: the Austronesian  speakers

∙ Note: Austronesian peoples were horticulturists, had domestic animals, knew how to fish the inshore and offshore waters, made red-slipped earthenware  pottery, used ground-stone and shell adzes, had a variety of other tools and  implements in shell, and were canoe-builders and navigators.

∙ Triple-I Model: intrusion, innovation, and integration

∙ Around 1200 B.C., a phase of long-distance voyaging and colonization  commenced, with Lapita groups rapidly breaking through the invisibly  boundary of Near Oceania (which for 30,000+ had marked the limits of human  existence in the Pacific).

 Colonizing populations were small, resulting in "genetic bottleneck"  effects that can be detected in modern molecular variation among  Polynesians

∙ Lapita Ceramic Series 

 Dentate-stamped method of decoration is characteristic in Lapita  pottery

 The earliest dates for site with this distinctive Lapita style range  between 1500-1400 B.C.; for the next 2-3 centuries, there was no  expansion of Lapita populations beyond the immediate Near Oceania  region

 Stamps were applied according to a set of artistic rules,  constituting a "grammar" of Lapita design.

 Note: Oceanic art is of the pervasive type - in which the same motifs  and rules are applied to a diversity of artistic media.

Advent of Lapita 

∙ Note: several characteristics that marked site wholly different from anything  preceding them in Near Oceania (known as rubric Lapita)

1. They were good-sized settlements (up to 80 or more hectares),  situated on coastal beach terraces or build out over the shallow lagoons  as clusters of stilt-houses.

 The beaches and reefs were the favorable location for  


2. Occupants made, traded, and used large quantities of earthenware  ceramics, of both plain and decorated varieties

3. The economic base had expanded, utilizing all of the tree crops that  had been domesticated in this region, also including pigs, dogs, and  chickens; fishing strategies were sophisticated, and they employed a  variety of fishhooks

-- Lewis,1994, ch3. --

Canoes of Oceania 

∙ Polynesia

 Generally double canoes

 V-shaped and plank-built, not clearly specialized inshore paddling craft  with auxiliary sail, and not voyaging canoes at all

 Pahi, tongiaki, ndrua

∙ Micronesia

 Canoes with an outrigger on one side

∙ Note: canoes with outrigger floats on both sides (double outriggers) were  used in Indonesia and the Indian Ocean, but not in the open Pacific


∙ Twin-hulled, two-masted, 50-70 ft. long

∙ Fine coconut fiber between planks, adhesive breadfruit sap being used as  pitch

∙ Oceangoing vessel of the Tahitian and Tuamotuan archipelagos ∙ Specialized deep-sea ships, good for long-distance work

 Too clumsy for fishing


∙ Canoe used in Tonga

∙ Similar to pahi in size and performance

∙ There is a fire on the deck

 Lit on platforms of coral gravel, stone, or clay, often surrounded with  wooden railings (the best fuel being dried coconut husks)


∙ Double canoe used in Fiji

 The system of changing ends (by shunting) was adopted by the Fijians  in their double canoes

∙ Hulls of unequal length, the shorter of which functioned like an outrigger ∙ Being much more maneuverable than pahi and tongiaki

∙ Replaced the older twin-hulled canoes in Western Polynesia (Tonga, Samoa,  etc.) about 200 years ago

 Tongan version of this canoe was called the kalia

Micronesian Canoes 

∙ Baurua is really a larger Kiribati fishing canoe

 Differed from other Micronesian types mainly in its extreme lightness  and flexibility

∙ Carolinian, Marshallese, and Marianas models resembled each other very  closely

∙ Ninigo, and to a lesser extent Santa Cruz canoes (te puke), had less in  common, though they exhibited so many Micronesian features that they may  be considered "para-Micronesian"

∙ The speed of large Micronesian outriggers, when fully loaded, would differ  very little from the Polynesian canoes.

∙ Note: Micronesian canoes and their Fijian and Tongan derivatives lay superior in their maneuverability.

Two Contrasting Design Principles 

∙ Tacking canoes: have distinctive and permanent bows and sterns like Western craft

 Included all of the classical Eastern and Wester Polynesian twin-hulled  canoes, as well as those of Hawaii and New Zealand

 Sailing outrigger canoes of Tahiti, Samoa, and Tonga (but no Pukapuka) fit in this category

∙ Note: all Micronesian, Outlier Polynesian, and Melanesian canoes had, and  still have, identical end

 The bow and stern are, therefore, interchangeable and they can sail  either end foremost

 Outrigger float is always kept to windward, where it acts largely as a  balance weight

∙ Shunting: useful term for vessels that work to windward by reversing ends  instead of tacking through the eye of the wind

 Bows and sterns must be identical and interchangeable, and the  steering device transferable from the former stern to the new one  Vessel's sides need not be symmetrical

 This Fijian type came to replace the more sluggish classical Polynesian  double canoes in Tonga, Samoa, Tokelau, Rotuma, the Ellice Islands, and  probably in New Caledonia

 Not in Tahiti, nor anywhere else in Eastern Polynesia

Polynesian Sails 

1 Simple and boomed lateens

2 Apex-down triangular sails (on small canoes)

 Set poorly and the spars broke often

3 Claw-shaped sails

 Hawaiian, Marquesas, Tahitian

 Highly functional

 The persistence of the sail at the margins of Polynesian expansion, and its absence anywhere else in the world, lends support for its having been  a true Polynesian or East-Austronesian invasion.

∙ Note: Polynesian voyaging canoes could be expected to cover between 100- 150 miles a day on any point of sailing, where they could lay a direct course to  their objective without have to tack.

Indonesian Sails 

∙ Both outriggers themselves and the method of coming about by changing  end originated in the Indonesian region


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