The Bird's Head Peninsula of New Guinea covers some 30,000 km? of enormously varied landscape. Although it is home to an indigenous population of just 114,000, these people share more than 20 languages. Wider knowledge of the peninsula was recently gained through an extensive interdisciplinary research project (ISIR) involving anthropologists, archaeologists, botanists, demographers, geologists, linguists, and specialists in public administration. In analysing the findings of the project, this book provides a systematic comparison with earlier studies, addressing the geological past, the latest archaeological evidence of early human habitation (dating back at least 26,000 years), and the region's diversity of languages and cultures. The peninsula is an important transitional area between Southeast Asia and Oceania, and this book provides valuable new insights for specialists in both the social and natural sciences into processes of state formation and globalisation in the Asia-Pacific zone.
One Head, Many Faces
AuthorsMeidema, Jelle; Ger Reesink