Volcanic disasters and cultural discontinuities in Holocene time, in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea
Published:January 01, 2000
Robin Torrence, Christina Pavlides, Peter Jackson, John Webb, 2000. "Volcanic disasters and cultural discontinuities in Holocene time, in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea", The Archaeology of Geological Catastrophes, W. J. McGuire, D. R. Griffiths, P. L. Hancock, I. S. Stewart
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An evaluation of the relationship between culture change and the history of volcanic activity from the Witori and Dakataua volcanoes in West New Britain province, Papua New Guinea, demonstrates the importance of studies focusing on long time spans to an understanding of cultural adaptation to volcanic disasters. Using a chronostratigraphy based on several techniques for matching tephras, the cultural responses to five volcanic events are compared and contrasted between the Willaumez Peninsula and Yombon, areas whose environment and proximity to the volcanoes vary significantly. Archaeological analyses of material show that human groups did not immediately adjust to the effects...
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The Archaeology of Geological Catastrophes
Archaeology is playing an increasingly important role in unravelling the details of geological catastrophes that occurred in the past few millennia. This collection of papers addresses both established and innovative archaeological methods and techniques, and their application in examining the impact of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. This comprehensive volume includes case studies from around the world, such as Europe, Africa, SE Asia, Central and North America; covering historical and archaeological aspects of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Although the bulk of the collection views earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as agents of destruction, the volume also considers their potential benefits to past cultures - providing materials for tools, building and sculpture, and even the fertile environmental conditions on which societies depended. New geophysical, geological, and archaeometrical methods and techniques are described and the application of these new ideas presented, providing improved knowledge of these ancient catastrophes. There is a strong focus on arguably the most prominent geological catastrophe in the archaeological record - the Bronze Age eruption of Thera (Santorini, Greece) and its consequent regional impacts on Minoan culture. This multidisciplinary text is of benefit to academic researchers and educators in archaeology, palaeoseismology and volcanology alike.