Australian Museum Journal Watom: the people

Shortform:
Houghton, 1989, Rec. Aust. Mus. 41(3): 223–233
Author(s):
Houghton, P.
Year published:
1989
Title:
Watom: the people
Serial title:
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume:
41
Issue:
3
Start page:
223
End page:
233
DOI:
10.3853/j.0067-1975.41.1989.144
Language:
English
Date published:
30 November 1989
Cover date:
30 November 1989
ISSN:
0067-1975
CODEN:
RAUMAJ
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Subjects:
ANTHROPOLOGY; ARCHAEOLOGY; NEW GUINEA; OCEAN: PACIFIC
Digitized:
24 November 2008
Available online:
08 December 2008
Reference number:
144
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (101kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (2632kb PDF)

Abstract

The human material from the Reber-Rakival Lapita site on Watom Island has been analysed. Eight adults and a two year old child are defined in addition to scattered adult material. Mean age at death of the adults, comprising two females and six males, was about 30 years. Mean stature of three males was 1,784 mm, and that of a female was 1,659 mm. Long bones were moderately robust, and bowed to accommodate a considerable musculature. One substantially-complete mandible showed Polynesian 'rocker' characteristics, and it is probable that two adult mandibular fragments shared this morphology. Another substantially-complete mandible, though very robust, did not show this form. The morphology of this group displays the large-bodied characteristics of oceanic voyagers and small-island dwellers. Statistical analyses of mandibular and dental metric data support the morphological evidence of affinities with prehistoric Polynesians of rather later date.