An Australian archaeologist, says that obsidian artefacts or special rock tools originating from West New Britian and Manus reveals alot from PNG’s past.
Dr. Robin Torrence has returned to PNG with obsidian artefacts that she took to Sydney for specific analysis. She has been studying these obsidian artefacts for over 20 years.
“They are between ten thousand and three thousand years old,” she said.
Dr Torrence is convinced that these tools, which are much older than Lapita pottery time, shows that Papua New Guinean societies were complex and advanced then.
“In the very early period, we had complex societies with chiefs, people of different status. And also these objects were traded, so things went from Manus and New Britian to Bougainville to the mainland and to Irian Jaya. So there was a massive long distance exchange system of some kind probably between big men that was integrating society.”
A lot of these artefacts can now be found in museums all over the world showing the level of interests in these objects.
“They were made in a very complex way, so we think they were probably valuable used to display status, maybe of a chief or somebody very important or used in bride price.”
The interests in these artefacts also mean that private dealers are also interested in them and some are being sold.