Journal article

A late-Holocene palaeoecological record from Ambra Crater in the highlands of Papua New Guinea and implications for agricultural history

JMK Sniderman, J Finn, TP Denham

The Holocene | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2009


A series of monoliths collected from Ambra Crater in the Upper Wahgi valley, Papua New Guinea have been subject to multiproxy (pollen, microcharcoal and diatom) palaeoecological investigation. The palaeoecological record enables a relatively high-resolution reconstruction from c. 4000ĝ€"500 cal. BP. Throughout the sequence, the valley floor and crater area were continuously deforested and carpeted with a grassland-disturbance taxa mosaic. Vegetation communities in the valley were largely unaffected by successive tephra deposition events, although some muted effects occurred. Tephra deposition did have considerable local effects on soil water conditions and hydrology in the base of the crater..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by ANSTO

Funding Acknowledgements

Fieldwork was conducted in 1999 by Denham with Jack Golson TomWagner, Robin Torrence and Peter White. Permission to excavate at Ambra Crater was granted by Paul Maki, the local landowner. Radiocarbon dating was undertaken by ANSTO under a grant to Jack Golson (Grant 01/057). The authors thank: Jack Golson for his permission to cite the dates and for his field nous, Russell Blong for access to his notebooks documenting his fieldwork in the 1970s and unpublished laboratory records on tephra sequences across the highlands, Sander van der Kaars for palynological advice, Simon Haberle for assistance with facilitating the laboratory analyses and Phil Scamp for assistance with the figures. Referee comments from Geoff Hope and Sarah Davies and solicited comments from Krystyna Saunders greatly improved this paper.