Development of Regional Maritime Networks during the Early Metal Age in Northern Maluku Islands: A View from Excavated Glass Ornaments and Pottery Variation

New paper by Ono et al. in the Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology

In this paper we discuss the results of excavation at the Aru Manara site in the Northern Maluku islands along with a description of the recovered pottery assemblage and results of compositional analysis of glass ornaments. By comparing our data to those from other sites in the area, we suggest the possible development of regional maritime networks in and around the Northern Maluku Islands during the Early Metal Age. The lowest level of the site contained a large number of secondary human burials, burial pots, and jars with distinctive anthropomorphic and zoomorphic motifs (including human faces and lizards), and possible baked clay ornaments. These all date to between ca. 2100 and 1900 years BP, corresponding to the Early Metal Age in Island Southeast Asia. The site also produced numerous glass beads and bracelets. X-ray fluorescence analysis confirms a high proportion of potash glass that possibly originated from China, Mainland Southeast Asia or India and is common in sites in Thailand and Vietnam dating to between 2500 and 2100 years BP. There was a minor occurrence of high alumina-soda glass beads known as Indo-Pacific beads that originated from India to Southeast Asia and which are commonly found in sites dated between 2300 and 1500 years BP or later. The glass ornaments from different areas, combined with variable pottery, indicates the possible development of maritime and cross-regional networks to the Northern Maluku Islands.

Source: Development of Regional Maritime Networks during the Early Metal Age in Northern Maluku Islands: A View from Excavated Glass Ornaments and Pottery Variation
https://doi.org/10.1080/15564894.2017.1395374