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Negotiating social identity through practices with stone

Author(s): Pip Rath

Year: 2015

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Dazzling, large, highly retouched obsidian objects comprised part of the material world of prehistoric people from West New Britain, Papua New Guinea from sometime between ca 6300- to 3300 years ago BP. Beyond their role as valuables, the seemingly mundane practices of choosing and acquiring raw material together with the application of a sequence of actions on the material and knowledge used in making them were fundamental for creating and structuring social relations. A case study, identifying and comparing the routine practices at three sites where various mixes of obsidian sources were exploited to make the stemmed tools, illustrates how people used these practices to negotiate social identity and ownership of the sources.

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Negotiating social identity through practices with stone. Pip Rath. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394984)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America