Pleistocene occupation of New Guinea's highland and subalpine environments

Fairbairn, AS, Hope, GS and Summerhayes, GR (2006) Pleistocene occupation of New Guinea's highland and subalpine environments. World Archaeology, 38 3: 371-386. doi:10.1080/00438240600813293

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Author Fairbairn, AS
Hope, GS
Summerhayes, GR
Title Pleistocene occupation of New Guinea's highland and subalpine environments
Journal name World Archaeology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0043-8243
Publication date 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/00438240600813293
Volume 38
Issue 3
Start page 371
End page 386
Total pages 16
Editor Mitchell
Place of publication Oxford, UK
Publisher Routledge / Taylor and Grancis
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
430201 Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherer Societies (incl. Pleistocene Archaeology)
780107 Studies in human society
Abstract New Guinea's mountains provide an important case study for understanding early modern human environmental adaptability and early developments leading to agriculture. Evidence is presented showing that human colonization pre-dated 35ka (ka = thousands of uncalibrated radiocarbon years before present) and was accompanied by landscape modification using fire. Sorties into the subalpine zone may have occurred before the Late Glacial Maximum (LGM), and perhaps contributed to megafaunal extinction. Humans persisted in the intermontane valleys through the LGM and expanded rapidly into the subalpine on climatic warming, when burning and clearance may have retarded vegetation re-colonization. Plant food use dates from at least 31ka, confirming that some of New Guinea's distinctive agricultural practices date to the earliest millennia of human presence.
Keyword Archaeology
Late Glacial Maximum
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 08:08:15 EST