On The Periphery? Archaeological Investigations At Ngelong, Angaur Island, Palau
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Ngelong is an extensive late-prehistoric site situated within the rugged limestone terrain of Angaur Island. Earlier research documented extensive midden and artefact deposits, but only a few stone structures. Recent archaeological work has confirmed the relative absence of built stone features, and obtained new data-including radiocarbon dates and X-Ray Fluorescence results-to evaluate the Ngelong occupation. These indicate the site dates to 450-250 cal. B.P., and overlaps in time with Rock Island villages containing abundant stone work. Compared to several other prehistoric sites in southern Palau, Ngelong is atypical, and appears to represent community occupation of a peripheral socio-economic landscape as a result of warfare, a possibility also found in traditional accounts. While constructed defences indicate the existence of inter-group hostility in the past, it is suggested the outcome of warfare resulted in significant differences between late-prehistoric Palauan communities, which can be identified in the archaeological settlement record.
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology