Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-558cb97cc8-4xlcd Total loading time: 0.634 Render date: 2022-10-06T07:34:24.533Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": true, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Article contents

Shell tool technology in Island Southeast Asia: an early Middle Holocene Tridacna adze from Ilin Island, Mindoro, Philippines

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2015

Alfred F. Pawlik*
Affiliation:
Archaeological Studies Program, University of the Philippines, Albert Hall, Lakandula Street, Diliman, Quezon City1101, the Philippines (Email: afpawlik@gmail.com)
Philip J. Piper
Affiliation:
School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University, AD Hope Building #14, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
Rachel E. Wood
Affiliation:
Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, 142 Mills Road, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
Kristine Kate A. Lim
Affiliation:
Archaeological Studies Program, University of the Philippines, Albert Hall, Lakandula Street, Diliman, Quezon City1101, the Philippines (Email: afpawlik@gmail.com)
Marie Grace Pamela G. Faylona
Affiliation:
Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Philippine Normal University, Taft Avenue, Manila City 1000, the Philippines
Armand Salvador B. Mijares
Affiliation:
Archaeological Studies Program, University of the Philippines, Albert Hall, Lakandula Street, Diliman, Quezon City1101, the Philippines (Email: afpawlik@gmail.com)
Martin Porr
Affiliation:
Archaeology, School of Social Sciences, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
*
*Author for correspondence (Email: afpawlik@gmail.com)

Abstract

Shell artefacts in Island Southeast Asia have often been considered local variants of ground-stone implements, introduced in the Late Pleistocene from Mainland Southeast Asia. The discovery of a well-preserved Tridacna shell adze from Ilin Island in the Philippines, suggests, however, a different interpretation. Using radiocarbon dating, X-ray diffraction and stratigraphic and chronological placement within the archaeological record, the authors place the ‘old shell’ effect into context, and suggest that shell technology was in fact a local innovation that emerged in the early Middle Holocene. The chronology and distribution of these artefacts has significant implications for the antiquity of early human interaction between the Philippines and Melanesia. It may have occurred long before the migrations of Austronesian-speaking peoples and the emergence of the Lapita Cultural Complex that are traditionally thought to mark the first contact.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd., 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Allen, J., Gosden, C. & White, P.J.. 1989. Human Pleistocene adaptations in the tropical island Pacific: recent evidence from New Ireland, a Greater Australian outlier. Antiquity 63: 548–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anderson, A. & Summerhayes, G.. 2008. Edge-ground and waisted axes in the western Pacific. Asian Perspectives 47: 4558. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/asi.2008.0001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Asato, S. 1991. Tridacna adzes in the Ryukyu Islands. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 11: 282–91.Google Scholar
Barker, G.W.W. & Richards, M.B.. 2012. Foraging-farming transitions in Island Southeast Asia. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 20: 256–80.Google Scholar
Bellwood, P. 1997. Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian archipelago. Canberra: Australian National University Press.Google Scholar
Bellwood, P. 2013. First migrants: ancient migration in global perspective. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
Bellwood, P., Nitihaminoto, G., Irwin, G., Gunadi, X., Waluyo, A. & Tanudirjo, D.. 1998. 35,000 years of prehistory in the northern Moluccas, in Bartstra, G.J. (ed.) Bird's Head approaches (Modern Quaternary Research in Southeast Asia 15): 233–75. Rotterdam: Balkema.Google Scholar
Bronk Ramsey, C. 2009. Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon 51: 337–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bulbeck, D. 2008. An integrated perspective on the Austronesian diaspora: the switch from cereal agriculture to maritime foraging in the colonization of Island Southeast Asia. Australian Archaeology 67: 3152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bulmer, S. 2005. Reflections in stone: axes and the beginnings of agriculture in the central highlands of New Guinea, in Pawley, A., Attenborough, R., Golson, J. & Hide, R. (ed.) Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples (Pacific Linguistics 572): 387450. Canberra: Australian National University.Google Scholar
Denham, T. 2013. Early farming in Island Southeast Asia: an alternative hypothesis. Antiquity 87: 250–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Douka, K., Hedges, R.E.M. & Higham, T.F.G.. 2010. Improved AMS 14C dating of shell carbonates using high-precision X-ray diffraction and a novel density separation protocol (CarDs). Radiocarbon 52: 735–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fox, R.B. 1970. The Tabon Caves: archaeological explorations and excavation on Palawan Island, Philippines. Manila: National Museum.Google Scholar
Fredericksen, C.M., Spriggs, M. & Ambrose, W.. 1993. Pamwak rockshelter: a Pleistocene site on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in Smith, M.A., Spriggs, M. & Fankhauser, B. (ed.) Sahul in review: Pleistocene archaeology in Australia, New Guinea and Island Melanesia (Occasional Papers in Prehistory 24): 144–54. Canberra: Department of Prehistory, Australian National University.Google Scholar
Geneste, J.-M., David, B., Plisson, H., Delannoy, J.-J., & Petchey, F.. 2012. The origins of ground-edge axes: new findings from Nawarla Gabarnmang, Arnhem Land (Australia) and global implications for the evolution of fully modern humans. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 22: 117. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0959774312000017 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Golson, J. 2005. The middle reaches of New Guinea history, in Pawley, A., Attenborough, R., Golson, J. & Hide, R. (ed.) Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples: 451–91. Canberra: Australian National University.Google Scholar
Groube, L., Chappell, J., Muke, J. & Price, D.. 1986. A 40,000 year old occupation site at Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. Nature 324: 453–55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/324453a0 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hardy, J. & Hardy, S.A.. 1969. Ecology of Tridacna in Palau. Pacific Science 23: 467–72.Google Scholar
Heinsohn, T. 2003. Animal translocation: long-term human influences on the vertebrate zoogeography of Australasia (natural dispersal versus ethnophoresy). Australian Zoologist 32: 351–76. http://dx.doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2002.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kirch, P.V. 1997. The Lapita peoples. Cambridge (MA): Blackwell.Google Scholar
Kirch, P.V. & Weisler, M.I.. 1994. Archaeology in the Pacific Islands: an appraisal of recent research. Journal of Archaeological Research 2: 285328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kress, J.H. 2004. The necrology of Sa’gung rockshelter and its place in Philippine prehistory, in Paz, V. (ed.) Southeast Asian archaeology: 239–75. Manila: University of the Philippines Press.Google Scholar
Lloyd-Smith, L. 2012. Early Holocene burial practice at Niah Cave, Sarawak. Journal of Indo-Pacific Archaeology 32: 5469.Google Scholar
McGregor, H.V., Gagan, M.K., McCulloch, M.T., Hodge, E. & Mortimer, G.. 2008. Mid-Holocene variability in the marine 14C reservoir age for northern coastal Papua New Guinea. Quaternary Geochronology 3: 213–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quageo.2007.11.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mijares, A.S.B. 2008. The Peñablanca flake tools: an unchanging technology? Hukay, Journal for Archaeological Research in Asia and the Pacific 12: 1334.Google Scholar
Morwood, M. & Trezise, P.J.. 1989. Edge-ground axes in Pleistocene greater Australia: new evidence from S.E. Cape York Peninsula. Queensland Archaeological Research 6: 7790.Google Scholar
O’Connor, S. 2006. Unpacking the Island Southeast Asian Neolithic cultural package, and finding local complexity, in Bacus, E.A. & Glover, I. (ed.) Uncovering Southeast Asia's past: selected papers from the 10th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists: 7487. Singapore: NUS Press.Google Scholar
O’Connor, S. & Veth, P.. 2005. Early Holocene shell fish hooks from Lene Hará Cave, East Timor, establish complex fishing technology was in use in Island Southeast Asia five thousand years before Austronesian settlement. Antiquity 79: 249–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pawlik, A.F. 2006. Analysis of two polished stone adzes from Ille Cave at El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines. Hukay, Journal of Archaeological Research in Asia and the Pacific 10: 3859.Google Scholar
Pawlik, A.F., Piper, P.J., Faylona, P., Padilla, S. Jr., Carlos, J., Mijares, A.S.B., Vallejo, B. Jr, Reyes, M., Amano, N., Ingicco, T. & Porr, M.. 2014. Island adaptation and foraging strategies in changing environments from the Terminal Pleistocene to the Early Holocene in the Philippines: excavations at Bubog I & II on Ilin Island, Mindoro. Journal of Field Archaeology 39: 230–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/0093469014Z.00000000090 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Petchey, F. & Clark, G.. 2011. Tongatapu hardwater: investigation into the 14C marine reservoir offset in lagoon, reef and open ocean environments of a limestone island. Quaternary Geochronology 6: 539–49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quageo.2011.08.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Petchey, F., Ulm, S., David, B., McNiven, I., Asmussen, B., Tomkins, H., Dolby, N., Aplin, K., Richards, T., Rowe, C., Leavesley, M. & Mandui, H.. 2013. High-resolution radiocarbon dating of marine materials in archaeological contexts: radiocarbon marine reservoir variability between Anadara, Gafrarium, Batissa, Polymesoda spp. and Echinoidea at Caution Bay, southern coastal Papua New Guinea. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 5: 6980. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12520-012-0108-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Porr, M., Pawlik, A.F., Mijares, A.S.B., Piper, P.J. & Padilla, S. Jr. 2012. North of the Southern Arc—the Mindoro Archaeological Research Program: a summary of the 2010 and 2011 fieldwork activities. Australian Archaeology 75: 104–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rabett, R.J. & Piper, P.J.. 2012. The emergence of bone technologies at the end of the Pleistocene in Southeast Asia: regional and evolutionary implications. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 22: 3756. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0959774312000030 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reimer, P.J., Bard, E., Bayliss, A., Beck, J.W., Blackwell, P.G., Ramsey, C. Bronk, Buck, C.E., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Friedrich, M., Grootes, P.M., Guilderson, T.P., Haflidason, H., Hajdas, I., Hatté, C., Heaton, T.J., Hoffmann, D.L., Hogg, A.G., Hughen, K.A., Kaiser, K.F., Kromer, B., Manning, S.W., Niu, M., Reimer, R.W., Richards, D.A., Scott, E.M., Southon, J.R., Staff, R.A., Turney, C.S.M. & van der Plicht, J.. 2013. IntCal13 and Marine13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 55: 1869–87. http://dx.doi.org/10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16947 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ronquillo, W., Santiago, R.A., Asato, S. & Kazuhiko, T.. 1993. The 1992 archaeological re-excavation of the Balobok rockshelter, Sanga-Sanga, Tawi Tawi Province, Philippines: a preliminary report. Journal of the Historiographical Institute (Japan) 18: 140.Google Scholar
Soares, P., Trejaut, J.A., Loo, J.-H., Hill, C., Mormina, M., Lee, C.-L., Chen, Y.-M., Hudjashov, G., Forster, P., Macaulay, V., Bulbeck, D., Oppenheimer, S., Lin, M. & Richards, M.B.. 2008. Climate change and postglacial human dispersals in Southeast Asia. Molecular Biology and Evolution 25: 1209–18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msn068 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Solheim, W.G. II. 2006. Archaeology and culture in Southeast Asia: unraveling the Nusantao. Manila: University of the Philippines Press.Google Scholar
Solheim, W.G. II., Legaspi, A.M. & Neri, S.J.. 1979. Archaeological survey in southeastern Mindanao. Manila: National Museum of the Philippines.Google Scholar
Southon, J., Kashgarian, M., Fontugne, M., Metivier, B. & Yim, W.. 2002. Marine reservoir corrections for the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. Radiocarbon 44: 167–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spoehr, A. 1973. Zamboanga and Sulu: an archaeological approach to ethnic diversity (Ethnology Monograph 1). Pittsburgh: Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
Spriggs, M. 1989. The dating of the Island Southeast Asian Neolithic: an attempt at chronometric hygiene and linguistic correlation. Antiquity 63: 587613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spriggs, M. 1997. The Island Melanesians. Cambridge (MA): Blackwell.Google Scholar
Spriggs, M. 2011. Archaeology and the Austronesian expansion: where are we now? Antiquity 85: 510–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Summerhayes, G.R., Leavesley, M., Fairbairn, A., Mandui, H., Field, J., Ford, A. & Fullagar, R.. 2010. Human adaptation and plant use in highland New Guinea 49,000 to 44,000 years ago. Science 330: 7881. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1193130 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Swadling, P. & Hide, R.. 2005. Changing landscape and social interaction: looking at agriculture from a Sepik-Ramu perspective, in Pawley, A., Attenborough, R., Golson, J. & Hide, R. (ed.) Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples: 289327. Canberra: Australian National University.Google Scholar
Szabó, K. 2004. Technique and practice: shell-working in the Western Pacific and Island Southeast Asia. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Australian National University.Google Scholar
Szabó, K., Brumm, A. & Bellwood, P.. 2007. Shell artefact production at 32,000–28,000 BP in Island Southeast Asia: thinking across media. Current Anthropology 48: 701–23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/520131 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tanudirjo, D. 2001. Islands in between: prehistory of the northeastern Indonesian archipelago. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Australian National University.Google Scholar
Tsutsumi, T. 2012. MIS3 edge-ground axes and the arrival of the first Homo Sapiens in the Japanese archipelago. Quaternary International 248: 7078.Google Scholar
24
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Shell tool technology in Island Southeast Asia: an early Middle Holocene Tridacna adze from Ilin Island, Mindoro, Philippines
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Shell tool technology in Island Southeast Asia: an early Middle Holocene Tridacna adze from Ilin Island, Mindoro, Philippines
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Shell tool technology in Island Southeast Asia: an early Middle Holocene Tridacna adze from Ilin Island, Mindoro, Philippines
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *