Nenumbo

Arrowhead made from obsidian. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arrowhead.jpg

Arrowhead made of obsidian. Source: https://commons.wikimedia. org/wiki/File:Arrowhead.jpg

Nenumbo is one site that showcases the Pacific Islanders’ ability to travel the seas and challenges the Austronesian/Lapita model for the domestication of Remote Oceania. Located in the Solomon Islands, Nenumbo had obsidian that was imported from the Bismarck Archipelago which was 2,000 kilometers away.  In addition, studying burials has shown that the island people of Remote Oceania had large muscular bodies that were suited for traveling the ocean while the bodies of people from South-East Asia, Borneo, and New Guinea were better suited for living on land masses.  During the excavation of Nenumbo, post-hole structures were found and dated to c.1100 BC.  The holes are associated with earth ovens and storage pits. There were also remains of fish, shellfish, birds, and domesticated pigs and chickens.  The evidence that the people of Nenumbo and Remote Oceania developed separately from those of mainland and island South-East Asia indicates that domesticates may not have spread from west to east as the Austronesian/Lapita model says. (1)

 

(1) Barker, G. (2009).The agricultural revolution in prehistory: Why did foragers become farmers?. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 224-225.