Collective action, mutual aid and wetland agriculture in the highlands of Papua New Guinea

Date

2018

Authors

Denham, Timothy

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Equinox Publishing Ltd

Abstract

The history of early agriculture in New Guinea does not fit many traditional portray-als of the past. Archaeological evidence for agriculture in the highlands is early on a global scale, dating back at least 6400–6000 years (Golson 1977a; Denham et al. 2003). Yet early cultivation practices were not associated with seed-based cultivation of cereals, domesticated animals, or pottery; subsequent historical trajectories did not result in urbanism, metal-working, or socio-political hierarchies (cf. Childe 1936 and later works). By contrast, New Guinea agriculture is based on the vegetative propaga-tion of a wide array of food plant types, including root crops, bananas, grasses, and pandanus. Domesticated animals and pottery were only introduced to the island later, from c. 3000 years ago (Gaffney et al. 2015). Societal trajectories have followed a very different pathway from other regions of the world; societies remain largely small-scale, village-based, and egalitarian.

Description

Keywords

Citation

Source

Journal of Contemporary Archaeology

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1558/jca.33339

Restricted until

2039-12-31