Denham, T. and Haberle, S.G. (2008) Agricultural emergence and transformation in the Upper Wahgi valley, Papua New Guinea, during the Holocene: theory, method and practice.


Denham, T. and Haberle, S.G. (2008) Agricultural emergence and transformation in the Upper Wahgi valley, Papua New Guinea, during the Holocene: theory, method and practice. The Holocene 18, 481-496.

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ABSTRACT: A practice-based method is advanced to understand the emergence and transformation of agricultural practices in the Upper Wahgi valley during the Holocene. Conceptually, practices represent the nexus of human–environment interactions, as well as of structure–agency relationships, while methodologically, they are the visible remains – whether encountered directly through archaeology, or inferred through palaeoenvironmental proxy – of people living in the past. Multidisciplinary information from the Upper Wahgi valley is used to reconstruct multilayered practices of plant exploitation across the landscape through time; the intention is to spatialize, temporalize and humanize information often represented chronologically and technically. Practice-oriented interpretations clarify, interrogate and amplify existing multidisciplinary records of the past and shed new light on how the earliest agriculture was originated and transformed in the New Guinea highlands during the Holocene.

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