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The palaeoenvironments of Kuk Swamp from the beginnings of agriculture in the highlands of Papua New Guinea

Lentfer, Carol; O'Donnell, Shawn; Denham, Tim; Haberle, Simon

Description

Pollen, phytolith and charcoal records from the archaeological wetland site of Kuk Swamp, Wahgi Valley, Papua New Guinea spanning the period from <20,000 to 270calBP are compiled to reconstruct past vegetation and plant exploitation during the earliest to late phases of agricultural development. Samples collected from exposed stratigraphic sections associated with archaeological excavations enable detailed reconstructions of local vegetation and fire histories that can be directly linked to...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorLentfer, Carol
dc.contributor.authorO'Donnell, Shawn
dc.contributor.authorDenham, Tim
dc.contributor.authorHaberle, Simon
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T22:15:57Z
dc.identifier.issn1040-6182
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/70633
dc.description.abstractPollen, phytolith and charcoal records from the archaeological wetland site of Kuk Swamp, Wahgi Valley, Papua New Guinea spanning the period from <20,000 to 270calBP are compiled to reconstruct past vegetation and plant exploitation during the earliest to late phases of agricultural development. Samples collected from exposed stratigraphic sections associated with archaeological excavations enable detailed reconstructions of local vegetation and fire histories that can be directly linked to archaeological evidence for agricultural activity. The record of past environmental change is constructed through detailed chronological control and stratigraphic correlation across the swamp, revealing evidence of early Holocene vegetation disturbance including short-term, patchy forest loss and burning considered indicative of plant exploitation. It is not until the mid-Holocene (after 7000calBP) that persistent and widespread forest loss occurs, with burning and the transplanting of Musa banana into an open grassland environment, which is contemporary with local archaeological features representing cultivation practices. Multi-proxy palaeoecological evidence at Kuk provides a robust vegetation history and land use chronology for the Upper Wahgi Valley for the late Pleistocene and Holocene, including the emergence of an agricultural landscape by 7000calBP. Subsequent agricultural developments in the highlands of New Guinea can be seen as a series of continuing indigenous innovations in agricultural technology in the face of increased land degradation, climate change and external influences.
dc.publisherPergamon-Elsevier Ltd
dc.sourceQuaternary International
dc.subjectKeywords: agricultural development; archaeological evidence; charcoal; environmental change; fire history; geochronology; Holocene; paleoecology; paleoenvironment; phytolith; pollen; stratigraphy; upland region; vegetation; Papua New Guinea; Wahgi Valley; Musa
dc.titleThe palaeoenvironments of Kuk Swamp from the beginnings of agriculture in the highlands of Papua New Guinea
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume249
dc.date.issued2012
local.identifier.absfor160104 - Social and Cultural Anthropology
local.identifier.absfor210103 - Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas
local.identifier.absfor040605 - Palaeoclimatology
local.identifier.ariespublicationf2965xPUB2367
local.identifier.ariespublicationf5625xPUB4469
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationHaberle, Simon, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationLentfer, Carol, University of Queensland
local.contributor.affiliationO'Donnell, Shawn , College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationDenham, Tim, Monash University
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue6
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage129
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage139
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.quaint.2011.07.048
local.identifier.absseo970121 - Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T08:25:51Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84855925336
local.identifier.thomsonID000208871200013
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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