Date:

Ancient new guinea pot makers surprising innovation

Archaeologists have unearthed the oldest known pottery from Papua New Guinea in a surprisingly remote location in the rugged highlands.

The piece of red glossy pottery with designs cut into it is 3,000 years old, several hundred years older than the previous oldest known pottery in New Guinea.

- Advertisement -

It was found in the highlands region, well away from the coast where there was regular contact with other seafaring pottery making cultures such as the Lapita people.

“It’s an example of how technology spread among cultures,” said Dr Tim Denham from The Australian National University (ANU).

“Some pottery must have soon found its way into the highlands, which inspired the highlanders to try making it themselves.”

The find will help archaeologists reconstruct how pottery techniques spread from southeast Asia through the Pacific, and gives broader insights into the way technology spread throughout early civilisations.

- Advertisement -

As part of research led by Otago University in New Zealand, Dr Denham, from the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology, determined precise dates for a number of pottery pieces found at Wañalek in the Bismarck Range, in Papua New Guinea’s Madang Province.

“It’s interesting to have pushed back antiquity by several hundred years, and in a place where you least expect it,” Dr Denham said.

“And it shows human history is not always a smooth progression – later on pottery making was abandoned across most of the highlands of New Guinea. No one knows when or why.”

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Archaeologists find missing head of Deva from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom

Archaeologists from Cambodia’s national heritage authority (APSARA) have discovered the long-lost missing head of a Deva statue from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom.

Archaeologists search crash site of WWII B-17 for lost pilot

Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology are excavating the crash site of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress in an English woodland.

Roman Era tomb found guarded by carved bull heads

Archaeologists excavating at the ancient Tharsa necropolis have uncovered a Roman Era tomb guarded by two carved bull heads.

Revolutionary war barracks discovered at Colonial Williamsburg

Archaeologists excavating at Colonial Williamsburg have discovered a barracks for soldiers of the Continental Army during the American War of Independence.

Pleistocene hunter-gatherers settled in Cyprus thousands of years earlier than previously thought

Archaeologists have found that Pleistocene hunter-gatherers settled in Cyprus thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

Groundbreaking study reveals new insights into chosen locations of pyramids’ sites

A groundbreaking study, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, has revealed why the largest concentration of pyramids in Egypt were built along a narrow desert strip.

Soldiers’ graffiti depicting hangings found on door at Dover Castle

Conservation of a Georgian door at Dover Castle has revealed etchings depicting hangings and graffiti from time of French Revolution.

Archaeologists find Roman villa with ornate indoor plunge pool

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Cultural Heritage have uncovered a Roman villa with an indoor plunge pool during excavations at the port city of Durrës, Albania.