Archaeology



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Wheadon Christopher (1999): New Zealand Zooarchaeology: a Review of Current Methods.
Zooarchaeology is an important area of archaeological research. The extinct flightless moa was found in stratigraphic association with stone tool in 1843. The work of Lyell and Lubbock meant that such finds were rigorously studied. Zooarchaeology followed developments elsewhere. From the 1960s New Zealand zooarchaeology was providing input into zooarchaeological theory (e.g. Davidson 1964a, 1964b; Ambrose 1963). By the late 1980s this active participation had decreased markedly. At this point New Zealand zooarchaeology began to fall behind. Thus changes now need to be made to our zooarchaeological methods: there needs to be standardisation in the analysis of zooarchaeological methods; smaller screen sizes need to be used; analysis of skeletal frequencies must be improved; taphonomic analysis must be used. This dissertation adresses these issues.
Wilkinson, Aaron (1999): Networks, Sourcing, and Social Organisation: an Assessment of Bronze Age Thai Trade and Exchange.
This paper assesses Bronze Age Thai trade and exchange and also the role of trade and exchange in the rise of Thai social complexity. The Bronze Age in Thailand is period around 1000 years in length, with initial casting beginning in the vicinity of 1500 BC. This period is followed by major social changes following the introduction of iron metallurgy.

A significant portion of this paper deals with theoretical discussion of trade and social models, with the aim to provide a base for Thai related discussion. Also included is an outline of Thai prehistoric excavations, beginning with the inland cave sites up until the Bronze Age period.

This paper outlines what we know of Bronze Age Thai trade and exchange. Due to a limited number of major excavations, and a lack of provenance studies on exotic materials, discussion on Bronze Age Thai trade and exchange remains restricted.. Knowledge of trade and exchange is restricted to a recognition rather than any absolute understanding of artefact movements or site relationships. There is a need for large scale excavation and artefact provenance studies before any further assessment can be made.
Wylie, Simon (1999): Reconstructing Prehistoric Fishing Strategies: Test Case from Moloka’l, Hawaii
The ecological approach to studying prehistoric fishing integrates ecological, ethnographic/ethnohistoric, archaeozoological and material culture data to reconstruct fishing strategies. This approach was employed to determine the late prehistoric fishing practices used along a stretch of coastline near Hinanalua, north-west Molokai, Hawaiian Islands. The basic data set for this reconstruction was an assemblage of 6.4mm identified fish bone recovered from several sites in the area as part of the Hinanalua Project.

The first major objective of this dissertation was to use this assemblage to illustrate the application and relevance of the ecological approach. The second principal aim was to use the assemblage to assess the significance of a selection of methodological issues that can potentially distort the accuracy of fishing strategy reconstructions produced by the ecological approach. These issues included: the existence of different methods for calculating the Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI); general quantification biases of differential preservation and the use of different numbers of elements for identification; and the problem of the taxonomic level of identification. Finally, the assemblage was used to test whether variation, in terms of taxonomic abundance, range and size, existed in the fish bone recovered from sites with different functions, namely between residential and religious sites, and if so, what effect it may have on fishing strategy reconstruction.

With regards to the first objective, it was found that the holistic nature of the ecological approach makes it a thorough and effective method for reconstructing prehistoric fishing strategies. Secondly, it was determined that the different methods of calculating MNIs and the use of different numbers of elements for identification may have no significant effect on rank order taxonomic abundance, which has important implications for inter-study comparisons of fish bone assemblages and fishing strategy reconstructions. However it was concluded that differential preservation might be an important bias in quantification and that the taxonomic level of identification has a profound influence upon the accuracy of fishing strategy reconstructions: further attention to and testing of these issues is required. Thirdly, it was demonstrated that differences do exist between fish bone assemblages from sites of different function, but it was cautioned that these might be just as much a factor of the methodological issues investigated above as of functional variation.

However the most salient finding of this dissertation was that all of the aspects of fishing strategy reconstruction tested above interact and so each of these issues should be thoroughly investigated and tested before making firm conclusions about prehistoric fishing practices.


1998
Chetwin, James (1998): Aspects of Structural Technology at Noen U-Loke.

Construction technology in Iron Age Southeast Asia is not well understood. This dissertation examines evidence for such activity by reference to sintered daub remains from Noen U-Loke, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand.

Wattle and daub technology is explained with reference to literature from Europe and Africa, and evidence for such technology in the published literature on Southeast Asia is assessed. Waffle and daub technology is examined and explained as a construction process requiring specialised knowledge and materials. Construction methods are analysed by the examination of sintered daub fragments bearing impressions of decayed plant materials. It is argued that details of construction method are apparent from quantitative and qualitative variation in daub structures. A classification system is devised for use in the study, to aid in the analysis of construction method. Reconstructions of prehistoric building practices are offered, as are conclusions on the nature of preservation and deposition of daub in the archaeological record.

The preliminary nature of this study highlights the paucity of our understanding of practices of construction in prehistoric Southeast Asia, and attempts to set out basic considerations on a previously neglected line of inquiry in the study of domestic and  industrial activity in prehistoric Southeast Asia.


Dodd, Andrew (1998): Chert Stone Tools from the Southeast Solomon Islands.
This paper deals with the chert artifacts recovered from Su'ena village. The original chert assemblage included 67 tools described as adzes, with a further 20 recovered when sorting through the waste flakes from the site. This study is concerned only with those tools previously classified as adzes. The size and morphology of these tools is the same as those described in the other sites on Ulawa, San Cristobal, and Malaita. The condition of the tools is varied. Some of the adzes show attempts at reshaping after breakage.

Stone adze studies in the past have been descriptive, culture historic, and technological in their orientation. This project aims to include all of these aspects to provide a holistic analysis of these tools. Both the ethnographic, and archaeological records will be considered. Previous analyses of these tool types will be considered, along with any ethnographic descriptions of these tools from the earliest European visitors to the Solomon Islands. This project primarily aims to describe the function of the adzes and manufacturing techniques employed in their production. Manufacture will be studied by an investigation of the positioning, angling, and types of flake scars, and amount of cortical material remaining. These attributes will reflect the stone reduction sequence. The ultimate aim of this project is to provide data suitable for a wider comparative study of prehistoric Solomon Island stone working technology. It will offer an interpretation of how these adzes were manufactured, and suggestions of what functions they served to perform. This will include the implications of this study, and of the direction of further studies needed in this area.


Irving, Aaron (1998): Debitage and Distance: A Petrographic Study of Kawela Lithic Assemblage.
The sourcing of archaeological basalt to geological outcrops is of major importance to Pacific archaeology for a number of reasons. Firstly in the Eastern Pacific, basalt is the only real durable and ubiquitous raw resource (apart from shell and bone which are difficult to source accurately) and secondly, the identification of foreign stone to a distant geological source presupposes some form of contact or travel. The only real explanation for the displacement of archaeological basalt is by human agency.

The lithic assemblage from the Kawela Mound site in Moloka’i, in the Hawaiian Islands, consists of 3736 pieces of stone with a total weight of 5.6 kg. This assemblage was analysed macroscopically. The Kawela Mound assemblage was sorted into 15 groups based on macroscopic differences. From these groups, possible functions were inferred and the assemblage was then broken down into two functional groups: stone used in tool manufacture (flaking stone) and stone used in construction (construction stone). From these groups changes in site activities and stages of settlement could be inferred.



Items from each macroscopic group were analysed in petrographic thin section, and the results fine-tuned the sorting by macroscopic attributes, but loosely concurred with the macroscopic results. Most of the flaking stone was imported from West Molokai, from the well known quarries ‘Amikopala and Mo’omomi and the construction stone was largely local.
McCaw, Morag (1998): The Spatial Analysis of Prehistoric Cemeteries in Thailand.
The distribution of burials at various prehistoric cemeteries in Thailand suggests evidence for the deliberate placement of each individual grave. The significance of such an occurrence reflects the social systems implemented by that particular society. The sites of Ban Chiang, Ban Lum Khao, Ban Na Di, Khok Phanom Di, Noen U-Loke, Nong Nor, and Non Nok Tha, will be subjected to spatial analyses in order to determine whether the distribution of burials at each site is random or not. Co-ordinates are taken from individual graves to comprise a data set for each given site. The spatial analysis seeks to determine the spatial distribution of these points, and in so doing, the nature of the pattern. Non-random distributions infer the existence of pre-planned activity. The distribution of graves into tight clusters, loosely formed clusters, or separated into rows, reflects the deliberate placement of graves. The grouping of graves is determined by membership groups. Membership groups maintain a distinct burial location where members are exclusively buried. Such groups are often based on a hierarchical system, or on the basis of family groups. Evidence pertaining to such activities indicates the preoccupation with ritualistic behaviour. Such an occurrence is typical of what is expected from communities with growing social complexity.
Miller, Kathryn (1998) : Curio-hunting and the Regional Archaeologist: The Diaries of David Teviotdale.
Records of early archaeologists and curio-hunters have been under-utilised in preliminary investigations for regional archaeological studies. Curio-hunter and Otago Museum employee, David Teviotdale went on an artefact collecting trip to the Nelson-Marlborough region with fellow collector A.G. Hornsey in the summer of 1934-1935. The section of Teviotdale’s field diary, from December 22 1934 to January 5 1935, when the pair were in Golden Bay, northwest Nelson, is closely examined to ascertain its potential use to the modern regional archaeologist. Three key issues are examined: Use of the diary to locate sites and identify site disturbance processes, to locate collections of artefacts and assess collector’s motivations and to analyse Teviotdale and Hornsey’s artefact finds, especially with regard to collector motivation and provenance information. Documents such as this have a great deal of untapped potential for investigating all these areas and deserve to have an integral part in preliminary archaeological studies.
Watson, Katharine (1998): Amorphous Lumps: The Metal Assemblage from Facile Harbour, Dusky Sound.
Metal artefacts are invariably ignored during the analysis of historical assemblages in both New Zealand and abroad. It was not possible to simply forget about the metal objects recovered from Facile Harbour, Dusky Sound: they were the only class of remains recovered in significant quantities. A detailed analysis of these remains was undertaken, examining as many variables as possible for each category of artefact and drawing on historical information to aid interpretation. This successfully demonstrated the quantities of information that can be obtained from a metal assemblage. When subjected to a spatial analysis, these metal artefacts revealed the differential use of distinct areas of the site and thereby provided new information about the eighteenth century occupation of Facile Harbour.
Williams, Chris (1998): Marine Shell Exploitation in Prehistoric Su'ena: An Analysis of a Shell-bearing Midden Site.
An analysis of a marine shell assemblage from Su'ena in the Southeast Solomon Islands is presented. Evidence for temporal change is investigated through the analysis of taxonomic abundance. Statistical measures indicate a decrease in shell taxa and abundance over time. Explanations for these results are considered in the light of cultural, ecological and taphonomic factors.
1997
Jones, Brenda (1997): Flake Tools from Suena, Solomon Islands.
An analysis of a chert assemblage from Su'ena in the Southeast Solomon Islands is presented. Evidence for a temporal change in resource accessibility is investigated through the analysis of assemblage composition and visible manifestations of technological manufacture. A review of contemporary lithic analyses is provided with a focus on the methodologies implemented in the investigation. Statistical manipulations indicate a decrease in chert over time and these results are discussed with regards to a resource maximisation response by knappers and the broader issue of chert as an important trade commodity in the interaction of the Southeast Solomon Islanders in prehistory.
Smith, Sally (1997) : Rather Badly Built: Gender and Nutrition in Protohistoric Polynesia.
Many cultures in late prehistoric and protohistoric Polynesia placed dietary restrictions on women. These restrictions ranged from women being forbidden one or two items within the society’s subsistence system, through to societies which forbade women consumption of virtually every high quality protein food available. This information comes mainly from early European observations and later ethnographers and presents a picture of many women in late prehistoric and protohistoric Polynesia as consuming significantly less protein than their male counterparts.

Osteology is also a useful source from which to glean information about the overall health of a prehistoric population. However, when the osteology of Polynesian material is reviewed, a picture of good female health, reflected by many factors hut especially by stature, is presented. The two data sets concerning women’s nutritional status in late prehistoric and protohistoric Polynesia present us with two opposing pictures - an intriguing paradox.

I ask whether status systems in these societies could have unduly affected the conclusions presented about women, and I present two different explanations for the variation within Polynesia of the level of the dietary restrictions. One, following Mary Douglas, focuses on the contestation of gender relations within a society and the other, following Shore, is a more emic argument, utilising new theoretical research into the tapu concept. Two resolutions are attempted, one dealing with the visibility of protein-deprivation in skeletal material, and one suggesting an alternate source of protein that Polynesian women may have had access to.

This dissertation suggests a change in the way osteologists handle their reporting of nutritional adequacy. I then link these findings with those found elsewhere in the world, and with Douglas theory. Finally, I present my conclusions.


Sullivan, Michelle (1997): Ceramic Makers' Marks from the Otago Settlers Museum.
Ceramic vessels frequently have back marks — painted, printed or impressed marks on the reverse of the vessel. This research focuses on the makers’ marks from the Colonial Cottage display at the Otago Settlers Museum. In comparison to archaeological sites, museum collections have larger, relatively complete assemblages, with the addition of written accession records. These collections are potentially ideal for reference material and data, providing means for comparison with archaeological sites as well as other museums. This research documents the range of ceramic manufacturers represented in the Colonial Cottage display, as well as those reported from historic sites from around New Zealand. A comparison is made of maker’s marks recorded in the Colonial Cottage with those from various historic sites around New Zealand.
Tanner, Vanessa (1997): Faunal Analysis at Martin’s House, Hokianga.
An analysis of faunal material from the historic site of Martin’s House, Omapere, was conducted in order to ascertain the relative abundance and types of animals being utilised during the mid to late nineteenth century occupation of this site. The research involved a quantification of faunal remains from three excavated areas along with an analysis of taphonomic variables. An indepth study of butchering was conducted for one of the three assemblages, in order to determine the types of meat being consumed. An additional focus for the study was the presence or absence of evidence which suggested that pork was being used as an export commodity by inhabitants during the mid nineteenth century. Although no evidence supported this contention the analysis proved valuable in that it provides information on the importance of three major mammalian fauna as food resources, and highlights a combination of processes that may have led to the formation of this site. The results also allow the interpretation of a possible change in subsistence towards the end of the nineteenth century.
Fraser, Karen (1996) : An Analysis of Faunal Material from Anatoloa, Niue.
Faunal remains from excavations at Anataloa, Niue, in (1994) are analysed to determine patterns of dietary resource use and the subsistence behaviour associated with shellfishing. This shows a broad spectrum exploitation of available resources with a focus on the marine environment, especially reef flat invertebrates and inshore fish. Size frequencies of shellfish indicate a collection strategy with no preference for individuals of a particular size. Shell breakage patterns suggest intentional brekage to enable meat extraction, and the differential incidence of burning may indicate roasting of Turbo shells.
1996
Habberfield-Short, Jeremy (1996): Chronology and Rim Form: a Seriation of the Ceramic Rims from Ban Bon Noen, South East Thailand.
This research essay discusses the results of rim form analysis of the ceramics from Ban Bon Noen, in South Eastern Thailand. It is a site thought to have been occupied for over a millennium -- from the termination of the Bronze Age into the early protohistoric period. A dislocation in artefact and in pottery form between the lower and upper layers, suggests the culture of Ban Bon Noen underwent a process of change in the early Iron Age. Such a dislocation in material culture and increasing social complexity has been extensively documented within Iron Age contexts of South East Asia. It is within this context of developing regional complexity that Ban Bon Noen existed, and for a short period of time exploited the inter-regional trade networks and access they provided to new forms of wealth procurement. This has lead Pilditch ((1995)) to describe the upper layers of Ban Bon Noen as a market place due to the presence of a wide range of artefact forms, tin, bronze, metal, and most importantly, beads. Although only a small area was excavated, no burials were encountered at this site, thus Pilditch's suggestion seems plausible. Artefacts in the lowest layers have been interpreted as having similarity to those of the upper undated layers of Knok Phanom Di, while the upper layers display contemporaneity with Muang Phra Rot, south of Ban Bon Noen. The results of this research support the argument for chronological change, this is seen empirically in the complexity of rim forms in the upper layers.
Stone, Jenny (1996): The Archaeology and History of Chamouni.
This dissertation is an investigation of Chamouni, a short-lived packer's town established in 1863 near the beginning of the Otago goldrushes. Its principal objectives are to determine the dates of occupation, location, and historical significance of the town through the analysis of historical sources, local information, and archaeological observations. Several potential sites were investigated and the probable location identified.
Wilson, Amanda (1996): Reworking Debitage: an Analysis of Polished Basalt Flakes from Pitcairn Island.
An assemblage of polished basalt flakes have been examined from Water Valley site on Pitcairn Island. It is believed that the flakes are a result of the reworking of adzes and the analysis was performed to determine if reworking was the manufacturing process of the flakes.

A discussion of previous debitage analyses was used to set the scene for the analysis in which metric and non-metric attributes of complete and incomplete flakes were examined. A refitting exercise was conducted to determine if the flakes could be placed in the original position on the adze. An estimation of skill was calculated, and a discussion follows on the suitability of this technique.

It was determined that the flakes are result of reworking. The results are examined with respect to the composition of the assemblage, possible theoretical reasons for the reworking of the adzes (including the concept of curation) and the implications of the results are discussed with respect to the use of Pitcairn Island in prehistory.
1995
Somerville-Ryan, Graeme (1995): The Geoarchaeological Analysis of Sediment from Henderson Island.
The basic goals of this project are to see the site formation processes and to try to reconstruct the environment on prehistoric Henderson Island, using the tool of geoarchaeology. The approaches to these problems form two main hypotheses. The first is the role of the various methodologies that were utilised in the analysis of the sedementary material. Did these procedures supply the information that was required to form an overall picture of the prehistoric situation?. The second hypothesies covered, was in regard to the natural and cultural impacts on site formation and the environment in general. What effect did the people have on Henderson?, and how did their occupation alter over time?. The extent to which these questions can be answered by geoarchaeological analysis is covered throughout this essay.
Wadsworth, Angela (1995): A Functional Analysis of Pumice Artefacts from Anapaluki, Niue.
Pumice artefacts are relatively uncommon throughout the Pacific and little research has been undertaken on them. This dissertation presents a functional analysis of an assemblage of thirteen pumice artefacts from Anapaluki, a cave site on Niue. A classification is developed to standardise the description of use-wear on the pumice artefacts, and use-wear experiments conducted to determine function. These indicate that the Anapaluki tools were used primarily for finishing off the already shaped surfaces of wooden and bone artefacts.
Widdicombe, Helen (1995): The Meaning of Junk: an Economic Comparison of Two Hotel Sites.

Published descriptions of the artefact assemblages from two nineteenth century hotels, one in the remote goldmining settlement of Nokomai and the other in urban Auckland, are compared to assess the social status of their patrons, and whether remoteness of location influenced assemblage composition. Differences in function and status were identified, but there were few differences reflecting location.


1994
Martin, David R. (1994): Experiments in Archaeology in Aotearoa/ New Zealand: a Critical Appraisal.
Several researchers in archaeology have expounded the basic premises for the relevance of experiments in archaeology. Coles [1973:13] declares that 'By definition the words [experimental archaeology] suggest a trial, a test, a means of judging a theory or an idea and this is exactly so...'.

In most experiments the aim is to resolve problems inherent in the archaeological aspects of material culture such as incomplete survival and doubts about the presumed function of artefacts [Coles 1973:14]. Reynolds [1979] more precisely states that the rationale for experiments is to test the detailed theories on which explanations are made. Such explanations must be made critically. This more scientific approach to experimentation is one in which material from excavations is used to formulate hypotheses which the experiment is designed to test. Binford [1983] clearly states the relevance of experimental situations for archaeological research. Experimental archaeology is an area of research in which the present is used to serve the past'..providing insights into the accurate interpretation of the archaeological record' [Binford 1983:24].



The methodology used is the creation of experimental situations where the causes are controlled, in order to study the effects, these being compared to the effects of past action that remain in the archaeological record [ibid:26]. This summary of the thoughts of some major researchers made above as an introduction to the role of experiments in archaeology. a more critical and more specific examination of the scientific method as no applied in experiments in archaeology in Aotearoa/ New Zealand, and the validity of the inferences that flow from them, will form a substantial and important part of this essay.
Palmer, Rachel S. (1994): Archaeology of the Taieri Mouth District.
This is a study in local archaeology focusing on the Taieri Mouth district, 34km south of Dunedin. It is an area that was known to the Wai Taha, Kati Mamoe, and Kai Tahu, especially for mahika kai. This coastal strip was later settled intensively by Europeans, when other land on the Taieri and Tokomairiro Plains was less accessible. The Taieri River provided a route inland, and coastal trade was vital to existence. Through archaeology we can document past lifeways in this locality, by tracing marks on the land.
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