The Re-Excavation of the Manim Rock Shelter in the Wurup Valley, Western Highland, Papua New Guinea

Hubert Forestier1, Francois-Xavier Ricaut2, C. Apo3, J. Andu3, Justin Guibert4, Simon Puaud5, Jean-Pierre de Saint-Aubert6, John Muke7, Alois Kuaso8, Matthew Leavesley3, 9

1Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, UMR 7194, Musée de l'Homme, France

2Laboratoire Évolution and Diversité Biologique (EDB UMR 5174), Université de Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, France

3Strand of Anthropology, Sociology and Archaeology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea

4UMR 5608 TRACES, équipe SMP3C, Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès, France

5UMR 6566 CReAAH, Université Rennes 1 - Campus de Beaulieu, France

6Mission Préhistorique Française en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires Étrangères (MEAE), France

7Social Research Institute, Papua New Guinea

8National Museum and Art Gallery, Papua New Guinea

9College of Arts, Society and Education, James Cook University, Australia

Manim (Wurup Valley) is probably one of the best-known prehistoric sites in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, along with Wanelek, Kiowa, Kafiavana, etc. The one and only time Manim had been excavated was during the early 1970s, by O. Christensen. After 50 years, an international team of archaeologists from the University of Papua New Guinea and the French Prehistoric Mission in Papua New Guinea have re-excavated the site. The new investigations consisted of a 1 m2 test pit located adjacent to Christensen’s 1970s excavation trench. In this presentation, we report on the outcomes of the new research at Manim, and present a new interpretation of the 200 cm deep stratigraphic sequence that we have anchored with a robust radiocarbon chronology. The results of this study indicate Manim was occupied during the transition from the Late Upper Pleistocene to Holocene, marked by a significant change in lithic industries.