Archaeology



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Geary Nichol, Rosie (2007): Phimai Black Pottery: A study of Iron Age ceramic production and social organisation in Northeast Thailand.
Phimai black pottery is an Iron Age ceramic tradition specific to the upper Mun River valley of the Khorat Plateau, Northeast Thailand. The ubiquity of this ceramic tradition throughout all types of Iron Age site in the region has resulted in the use of Phimai black pottery as a significant horizon marker. The uniform appearance of Phimai black vessels has led many researchers to hypothesise centralized manufacture of these vessels, however little work has been undertaken to elucidate the production of Phimai black and its significance in the Iron Age society of the upper Mun River valley. This study applies the standardization hypothesis proposed by Rice (1981, 1987, 1991) to Phimai black assemblages recovered from the sites of Ban Non Wat, Ban Suai and Noen U-loke in order to relate concepts of specialized production and political centralisation to material evidence. The form, style and fabric of the vessels from each assemblage are assessed to establish any variation within and between assemblages. While certain components correspond to expected levels of homogeneity, the results of the electron microprobe analysis of the ceramic fabric prove more complex. A revision of the Phimai black production process is undertaken and the resulting implications are applied to existing interpretations of late prehistoric society in the upper Mun River valley. The assessment of ceramic standardization therefore allows the construction of hypotheses concerning Iron Age economics and social organisation.
Glover, Jenepher (2007): Su'ena - An Adze Manufacturing Site on the Island of Uki, Southeast Solomon Islands.
This paper presents an analysis of a stone tool assemblage from the site of Su’ena, on the island of Uki, Southeast Solomon Islands. In addition to understanding the assemblage’s composition the analysis sought to determine the factors that were at work which resulted in the disproportionate distribution of chert lithic items at the site as compared to other sites on Uki. The majority of the assemblage consisted of debitage and unworked flakes, however, some cores were located. Very few formal tools were found, however, a significant percentage of debitage and flakes that were used opportunistically were located. It is concluded that Su’ena was a task specific site for the manufacture of adzes and that some repair and remodeling activity also took place there. After manufacture adzes were distributed to other sites on Uki.
Thompson, Adam (2007): Su'ena - Afula'ia: a garden in Tutuila.
At the end of 2005 a large surface feature of a garden was discovered on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa, unlike any seen before. Large-scale, fine-detailed mapping revealed stone alignments for directing the flow of water from a permanent spring into two channels of garden plots suitable for taro cultivation. The style resembled a form of swamp irrigation adapted to the unique micro-environment, a band of swampy soils that line the base of the ridge dominating the island. The site is believed to be a single surviving example of a much larger tradition dating back to 500 BP based on similar stone alignments found n subsurface layers at ‘Aoa. During this time extensive quarrying and trade led to the development of an elaborate system of defensive fortifications. The location of the garden at the base of a steep ridge offered valuable defensive positioning protecting its resource. Such precautions support the postulation that the site may be associated with the famed Tataga-Matau fortified quarry complex, located near the site, that supplied high-quality basalt throughout Polynesia.

The garden, called Afula’oa by the local informant meaning “the land that sweats” due to its continually moist nature, would have been used specifically for wet taro, a highly prized food for ceremonial occasions. As its overall size is small, it is believed that it would have had little effect on the overall population. Instead its primary importance was to supply food for the banquet accompanying malaga feasts in which pigeon-catching tournaments took the place of warfare in the competition for rank and prestige. The presentation of wet taro was integral to the proper hosting of highly-ranked chiefs. The discovery of this garden therefore attests to the importance of the ceremonies in Samoan culture.


Hennessey, Matthew (2007): On the Move: Mobility Pattern of the Early Phase Lapita Site at Kamgot.
This dissertation presents a chemical characterisation study of the Lapita pottery assemblage excavated from the early phase Lapita site at Kamgot. The Kamgot site is a large Lapita village site located towards the north-western most coast of Babase Island, Anir Island group, Bismarck Archipelago. This study is primarily concerned with identifying the level of mobility utilised within the settlement pattern of the Kamgot population. The results of this study will be compared to chemical characterisation results presented by Summerhayes [2000] concerning the mobility patterns of the early phase West New Britain Lapita populations, and will identify whether the patterns of high settlement mobility identified by Summerhayes for these groups represents a localised settlement pattern or a typical early phase Lapita settlement strategy. It is argued that the chemical characterisation results of the Kamgot ceramic assemblage reflect a ceramic production strategy typical of a mobile population, thus suggesting that patterns of high settlement mobility during the early Lapita phase were not restricted to the West New Britain Lapita groups.
Hogg, Nicholas (2007): Settling Down: Mobility patterns of three mid-late Lapita sites in the Anir Group, Papua New Guinea.
The research presented here involved the physico-chemical analysis of ceramics from three mid-late Lapita sites, Balbalankin, Malekolon and Feni Mission, located on Ambitle Island, the Anir Group, Papua New Guinea. This research involved two major goals. The first was to undertake the first physico-chemical analysis on ceramics derived from the three mid-late Lapita sites discussed above, in order to study the mobility patterns of mid-late lapita settlements. The second goal involved testing the hypothesis put forward by Summerhayes (2000) which stated that a reduction in mobility occurred between the early and mid-late Lapita periods, with a subsequent development of sedentary settlement patterns in mid-late Lapita sites. To achieve these goals physico-chemical analysis was used to study the clay matrix and filler constituents of ceramics derived from the three sites detailed above. The use of multivariate statistical techniques upon the chemical data created by the physico-chemical analysis, allowed the definition of groups based upon chemical similarity. Through the use of physico-chemical analysis, this research argues that, the three mid-late Lapita sites had a sedentary settlement pattern and followed a local ceramic production strategy which involved the use of a limited number of locally sourced constituents in ceramic construction. It is argued, therefore, that the results from this research support the hypothesis provided by Summerhayes (2000) detailed above.

McClintock, Kim (2007): Chemical Characterisation of Pottery from Ban Non Wat, Northeast Thailand: The Transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age.

Ban Non Wat is a prehistoric site located in the Mun River valley on the Khorat Plateau in northeast Thailand and has been excavated as a part of the Origins of Angkor project since 2001/2002. The site is unique in the area as an occupation was uncovered that spanned the Neolithic to the Iron Age. No other Neolithic occupation in this area of northeast Thailand is known in any of the literature either. This chronology is dated from calibrated radiocarbon date for the Neolithic at 1262-1055 BC, with the early Bronze age date to 1100-900 AD and Iron Age dates ranging from 400 BC until 400 AD (Higham pers.comm.). Ban Non Wat is a moated site located only 2 km from the site of Noen U-oke, and over 550 burials have been uncovered over the excavations history, with thousands of ceramic vessels found in association with the graves. The excavation during the season of the 2006/2007 involved the excavation of six 4 by 4 metre squares with occupation from the Neolithic to the Iron Age present in what has been interpreted as a continuous chronology.


Spinks, Jean (2007): The Archaeology of Place: the material culture of Codfish Island.
Codfish Island/Whenua Hou is a place with a rich and diverse history. During the early nineteenth century the island was the location of a settlement that was a dual significance as it was the only substantial residential sealing settlement in New Zealand and the site of he first integrated Maori and European community. Recent archaeological investigations on Codfish Island have uncovered the remains of this nineteenth century settlement as well as several prehistoric occupation sites which date to the fourteenth and fifteenth century. The material culture recovered during this excavation is the basis of this dissertation. The artefacts are used to examine the life-ways of the people who inhabited the island and their utilisation of this place and its resources. The changing use of these resources is examined in terms of long term history of place.
Williams, Hamish (2007): Hard dates from soft bottles: dating New Zealand's historic period archaeological sites using patent aerated water bottles.
Glass, especially bottle glass is often the most abundant, and perhaps the most ubiquitous artefactual material recovered from historic period sites in New Zealand. It is no wonder that the analysis of bottle glass assemblages are common practice for historic archaeologists, and chapters and appendices detailing recovered glassware is commonplace in the archaeological literature. As it is recovered almost systematically from all historical sites, it is an artefact class regularly used to make interpretations about human behaviour; both within and across sites of different types, locations, ethnic groups, and time periods. When a systematic analysis of the deposition context, associated material, and processes of site formation is made alongside a detailed descriptive analysis of recovered glassware, a wide variety of data is made available to the archaeologist; data which in many cases cannot be gleamed from available historic records.
2006
Butcher, Maria (2006): Preserving our Past: Local Government and Cultural Heritage Protection in New Zealand.
Regional, city and district councils have an important role to play in the protection of New Zealand’s cultural heritage. The extent to which regional and local councils participate in the management and protection is considered. Case studies of selected regional and local councils addressed the issues of consistency across the country and co-ordination across different levels of government, with regard to managing and protecting cultural heritage. District Plans and Regional Policy statements were primary sources of information. The individual councils studied have interpreted their responsibilities towards cultural heritage in different ways. Variability in performance was most apparent between the two regional councils studied (Auckland Regional Council and the Otago Regional Council).
Carter, Matthew (2006): Going Under: An Assessment of Protection and Management Practice for Submerged Archaeological Sites in New Zealand.
Beneath the waters that surround and intersect our nation lie submerged heritage resources that have the potential to provide New Zealanders with a unique view into the past. However, this opportunity is unable to be grasped as underwater archaeology in New Zealand is critically underdeveloped. As a nation we have a comprehensive legislative framework that provides for the protection of our terrestrial and submerged heritage. This framework is applied differentially to terrestrial and submerged sites, with terrestrial sites benefiting from active management and advocacy while submerged sites are neglected from protection schedules and heritage initiatives. The methods used for the protection and management of terrestrial and submerged sites are investigated through case studies of the Auckland and Otago Regions this provides a number of areas for comparison and analysis reflecting two very different styles of heritage management. Within the Auckland region heritage initiatives are readily undertaken to provide the heritage authorities in the region with a comprehensive framework from which to make heritage management decisions. Heritage authorities in the Otago region however utilise a much more passive approach to heritage management. This research demonstrates that unless a more pragmatic approach is undertaken towards the protection of underwater archaeological sites we will continue to lose a valuable and non-renewable part of our heritage.
Coote, Logan Eyre (2006): The Box by the Door': The Role of the Public in New Zealand Archaeology.
The public in New Zealand have been involved with archaeology over a long period of time. The purpose of this study is to understand the public’s role in archaeology as it was in the past, as it is now, and the role it could have in the future. This study looks at how archaeology has been perceived by the public. Interpreting archaeology and informing the public is looked at through the literature and the media. The public also learns about archaeology through Museums as well as visiting sites or excavations. Prior to the archaeological profession New Zealand the role of the public was mainly as private collectors and amateur archaeologists. They held this role until the 1975 Acts began to allow for the growth of professional archaeology and for the Historic Places Trust to take control of managing of New Zealand’s archaeological resources. The role of the public, including bottle collectors and Maori, is shown through case studies. Commercialisation in archaeology has involved the public since artefacts were first collected and this has changed over time. This dissertation will discuss the relationships between the public and archaeology in New Zealand and will suggest future directions in this area.
McPherson, Sheryl (2006): A Critical Review of the Archaeological Application of Current Analytical Methods for the Improvement of Moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) Research .
Moa research has played a prominent role in New Zealand science since its conception. Over the last 150 years the study of these giant extinct birds has added immensely to our knowledge of New Zealand palaeoecology, palaeozoology and archaeology. Recent advances in methodology has raised the potential of moa research to contribute even more fully to an understanding New Zealand’s past. Unfortunately, in archaeology, this potential has not yet been matched by practice. This research essay reviews a range of new methods and new applications of existing methods, and develops a case for applying these to future moa studies in archaeology. It shows how the application of a number of these methods will improve our understanding of the historical inter-relationship between moa and Maori.
Sarjeant, Carmen (2006): Iron Age Mortuary Goods: A Comparative Study Between Ban Non Wat and Noen U-Loke, Northeast Thailand.
Mortuary traditions reflect aspects of life of a past community, including their access to resources and technological developments. This study investigates differences between the mortuary goods excavated from two Iron Age “moated” occupation and cemetery sites, Ban Non Wat and Noen U-Loke, located in the Upper Mun Valley of the Khorat Plateau, Northeast Thailand. Material culture associated with industrial and funerary activities was recovered during excavation. These mortuary goods were employed to examine potential resources, trade and technologies that may have influenced the industrial, cultural, social, political, and religious developments of the Iron Age. The purpose of this dissertation is to compare and relate the Iron Age mortuary samples excavated from Ban Non Wat and Noen U-Loke that are located approximately three kilometres apart.

Four distinct Iron Age mortuary phases were previously identified at Noen U-Loke. Unreported mortuary goods and burial treatments from the recent excavations of seven Iron Age burials at Ban Non Wat, a site with a chronology spanning from the Neolithic to the present era, are documented. It was concluded that the Ban Non Wat burial sample was most similar to mortuary phases two and three at Noen U-Loke.

The analysis of artefacts from the two sites found similarities that confirm funerary practices characteristic of the early Iron Age and differences suggestive of regional, economic and social aspects in mortuary practices, trade and exchange activities, and the development of industries and technologies. Both the Ban Non Wat and Noen U-Loke excavations exposed occupation and cemetery layers. Both sites provided evidence for spinning and for the exchange of marine items, Indian influenced ornaments and perhaps red ochre. Pig remains were important to mortuary rituals at both sites and fish remains were prominent in the Ban Non Wat sample. There was extensive evidence of ceramic specialisation at Ban Non Wat. Bronze and iron were more abundant at Noen U-Loke, particularly in the later mortuary phases, but there was greater evidence for casting over the entire Ban Non Wat site. Local rice production was suggested in some Noen U-Loke burials. Salt processing was likely to have been an important economic activity, seen in the presence of salt working mounds to the east of Noen U-Loke.

This research essay concludes that the early Iron Age burials of Ban Non Wat and Noen U-Loke had common mortuary traditions. The excavated mortuary goods provide archaeological data of value to the understanding of cultural traditions and social, political, industrial and economic pre-state progress throughout the Upper Mun Valley of Iron Age Northeast Thailand.


2005
Barribeau, Tim (2005): The Spindle Whorls of Ban Non Wat: An Analysis.
At the site of Ban Non Wat in Northeast Thailand, there is a large sample of small ceramic artefacts known as spindle whorls. These whorls are used in the production of textiles, and they are small and easy to manufacture. They are an introduced technology, and their morphology is reflective of changes in textile usage. Through a combination of statistical and spatial analysis, the whorls show distinct cultural changes in the wider environment. From morphological and metrical trends, they show alterations in the use of the site, as well as showing contact and interaction with foreign societies. This allows them the potential to be used in similar fashions in other sites, to show important alterations in the society
Briden, Shar (2005) : Archaeofauna from Sandfly Bay (I44/68), Otago Peninsula.
Salvage archaeology at the I44-68 site of Sandfly Bay recovered a large suite of archaeological fauna. Identification and quantification of the faunal assemblage was made to understand early Maori subsistence and occupation on the Otago Peninsula. The presence of artefacts, fauna and ovens suggest I44-68 was a short-term habitation site. Subsistence strategies focused on coastal resources with opportunistic procurement of species away from the coast. The main species taken was barracouta (Thrysites atun) with smaller quantities of dog, rat, small bird, other fish and three species of moa. Fur seal, sea lion and elephant seal were found, with a few remains from juvenile small bird species. The avian fauna provide a new record of species extirpation from the presence of three premaxilla's from the South Georgian Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides georgicus) Murphy & Harper, that has not previously been recorded from the New Zealand mainland. Seasonal indicators based on contemporary coastal movement of small bird species suggest the site was occupied January to April (Davies 1980:70, McGovern-Wilson et al. 1996:232-233), while the seasonal movement of fish species is consistent with October to May (Anderson & Smith 1996:242). Together these suggest repeated use of the site in prehistory.

Radiocarbon dating on charcoal and small bird bone suggests two occupations. The first around ca. 668-550 cal. BP, and the second at ca. 545-459 cal. BP. (McFadgen 2005). These early dates are supported by the presence of Archaic style artefacts including a bone reel and a cache of bird spear points. Site stratigraphy is difficult to interpret and may represent a conflated single layer containing prehistoric material from several phases of occupation. The early occupation at Sandfly Bay may have ceased from the loss of forest vegetation and resulting increase in the size of the Sandfly Bay dune system.


Cramond, Joanna (2005) : A study of Material Culture from a residence at the Lawrence Chinese Camp, Otago, New Zealand.
The Lawrence Chinese Camp, situated approximately 90 km from Dunedin, was established by Cantonese goldseekers during the Otago gold rushes in 1867, and remained inhabited until the death of the last Chinese resident in the 1940s. The Lawrence Chinese Camp Charitable Trust is an organisation which was formed specifically to oversee the preservation and reconstruction of the site as an historic heritage attraction, with the goal date for the completion of the project set at 2010. The first of four seasons of archaeological excavation for the Charitable Trust was carried out from March to April 2005 by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and the University of Otago, with the aim of recovering information which may assist with the understanding of the site and its reconstruction. This study presents an analysis of five groups of characteristic Chinese artefacts representing a range of cultural and subsistence-based activities from the residence of well-known businessman Sam Chew Lain. As acculturation by Chinese goldseekers was typically minimal, research on these artefacts from overseas Chinese sites worldwide has provided important information their function and role in a mining community. Site record plans made in the field were used to plot the approximate spatial layout of the artefacts in the locations in which they were recovered. Together, these data have allowed a basic spatial and behavioural interpretation of everyday life at the site and within the residence, highlighting the importance of thorough research, accurate site recording and the thorough excavation and detailed research of a culturally and historically valuable site.
Harsveldt, Patrick (2005): Interpreting the Blackened Industry: Historic Heritage Management of Former Coalmining Sites on Conservation Lands, South Island, New Zealand.
This research essay is concerned with the management of historic former coalmining areas located on the public estate of the South Island of New Zealand. Within this geographical parameter, the project will identify and evaluate historic mining sites that are being managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) as case studies. These key sites will be assessed and compared in terms of layout type and the physical condition of components and for any reconstruction and interpretation applications that have been undertaken as part of DOC conservancy management.

The research question asks what DOC conservancies are actively managing historic coalmining sites on the South Island and to what degree these historic coalmining resources are managed, especially in terms of visitor interpretation. Linked with this research question is whether the visibility of the historic coalmining resource has any bearing on the active management status of such sites.


Jennings, Chris (2005): The Restoration of Monumental Archaeological Sites in East Polynesia.
Using the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau on Hawai’i and the Tahai Cultural Complex on Easter Island as case studies, this research project seeks to examine how restoration can affect the information and potential research values inherent in a monument and its associated landscape. Further it investigates how restoration projects in East Polynesia have been carried out in relation to international cultural heritage principles, laid out in such documents as the Venice Charter of 1964. The principles of restoration are introduced and defined in an international context, examining how restoration projects have been successfully undertaken. The focus is then shifted to East Polynesia, providing a background of the two principle monument types – heiau and ahu, that are primarily examined in the case studies. The case studies are described, focussing on the work of Edmund Ladd at Honaunau and William Mulloy at Tahai, and are then examined in relation to issues of authenticity, cultural tourism, and the approach to restoring monuments with superimposed construction phases.
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