Ten Thousand Years of Cultivation at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea

Ten Thousand Years of Cultivation at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea

Edited by: Jack Golson, Tim Denham, Philip Hughes, Pamela Swadling, John Muke

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Description

Kuk is a settlement at c. 1600 m altitude in the upper Wahgi Valley of the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea, near Mount Hagen, the provincial capital. The site forms part of the highland spine that runs for more than 2500 km from the western head of the island of New Guinea to the end of its eastern tail. Until the early 1930s, when the region was first explored by European outsiders, it was thought to be a single, uninhabited mountain chain. Instead, it was found to be a complex area of valleys and basins inhabited by large populations of people and pigs, supported by the intensive cultivation of the tropical American sweet potato on the slopes above swampy valley bottoms. 

With the end of World War II, the area, with others, became a focus for the development of coffee and tea plantations, of which the establishment of Kuk Research Station was a result. Large-scale drainage of the swamps produced abundant evidence in the form of stone axes and preserved wooden digging sticks and spades for their past use in cultivation. Investigations in 1966 at a tea plantation in the upper Wahgi Valley by a small team from The Australian National University yielded a date of over 2000 years ago for a wooden stick collected from the bottom of a prehistoric ditch.

The establishment of Kuk Research Station a few kilometres away shortly afterwards provided an ideal opportunity for a research project.

Details

ISBN (print):
9781760461157
ISBN (online):
9781760461164
Publication date:
Jul 2017
Note:
Terra Australis 46
Imprint:
ANU Press
DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.22459/TA46.07.2017
Series:
Terra Australis
Disciplines:
Arts & Humanities: Archaeology, History; Science: Agriculture & Forestry; Social Sciences: Anthropology
Countries:
Pacific

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Ten Thousand Years of Cultivation at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea »

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  1. An Introduction to the Investigations at Kuk Swamp (PDF, 0.5MB)Jack Golson doi

Part One: Agriculture in a World, Regional and Local Setting

  1. Early Agriculture in World Perspective (PDF, 0.3MB)Peter Bellwood doi
  2. Domesticatory Relationships in the New Guinea Highlands (PDF, 0.1MB)Tim Denham doi
  3. Environment and Food Production in Papua New Guinea (PDF, 0.3MB)R. Michael Bourke doi
  4. The Wetland Field Systems of the New Guinea Highlands (PDF, 1.7MB)Chris Ballard doi

Part Two: Kuk Swamp and its Store of Evidence

  1. Kuk Swamp (PDF, 3.4MB)Philip Hughes, Tim Denham and Jack Golson doi
  2. Volcanic Ash at Kuk (PDF, 0.6MB)Russell Blong, Thomas Wagner and Jack Golson doi
  3. Tibito Tephra, Taim Tudak and the Impact of Thin Tephra Falls (PDF, 0.2MB)Russell Blong doi
  4. Palaeoecology (PDF, 1.1MB)Simon G. Haberle, Carol Lentfer and Tim Denham doi
  5. The Archaeobotany of Kuk (PDF, 1.2MB)Carol Lentfer and Tim Denham doi

Part Three: People in the Swamp and on its Margins

  1. Phase 1: The Case for 10,000-Year-Old Agriculture at Kuk (PDF, 1.9MB)Tim Denham, Jack Golson and Philip Hughes doi
  2. Phase 2: Mounded Cultivation During the Mid Holocene (PDF, 3.0MB)Tim Denham, Jack Golson and Philip Hughes doi
  3. Phase 3: The Emergence of Ditches (PDF, 1.7MB)Tim Denham, Jack Golson and Philip Hughes doi
  4. Phase 4: Major Disposal Channels, Slot-Like Ditches and Grid-Patterned Fields (PDF, 1.7MB)Tim Bayliss-Smith, Jack Golson and Philip Hughes doi
  5. Phase 5: Retreating Forests, Flat-Bottomed Ditches and Raised Fields (PDF, 2.0MB)Tim Bayliss-Smith, Jack Golson and Philip Hughes doi
  6. Phase 6: Impact of the Sweet Potato on Swamp Landuse, Pig Rearing and Exchange Relations (PDF, 2.0MB)Tim Bayliss-Smith, Jack Golson and Philip Hughesdoi
  7. Houses in and out of the Swamp (PDF, 2.6MB)Jack Golson doi

Part Four: Artefacts of Wood and Stone

  1. The Kuk Artefacts, an Introduction (PDF, 0.1MB)Jack Golson doi
  2. Artefacts of Wood (PDF, 1.5MB)Jack Golson doi
  3. Kuk Stone Artefacts: Technology, Usewear and Residues (PDF, 1.2MB)Richard Fullagar with Jack Golson doi
  4. Stone Sources and Petrology of Kuk Swamp Artefacts (PDF, 0.8MB)Marjorie Sullivan, John Burton, David Ellis, Jack Golson and Philip Hughes doi

Part Five: The Traditional Owners

  1. Hagen Settlement Histories: Dispersals and Consolidations (PDF, 0.5MB)Andrew Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart doi
  2. Kuk Phase 7, 1969–1990, the Kuk Research Station: A Colonial Interlude (PDF, 1.0MB)Paul Gorecki doi
  3. Kuk 1991 to 1998, the Station Abandoned and the Land Resumed: Archaeological Implications (PDF, 0.1MB)Jack Golson and John Muke doi
  4. Kuk Phase 8: Heritage Issues to 2008 (PDF, 0.3MB)John Muke and Tim Denham doi

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