Sydney: A team of Australian archaeologists has unearthed 3,000-years old pottery in a remote location in the rugged highlands of Papua New Guinea.
The piece of red glossy pottery with designs cut into it is 3,000-years old is several hundred years older than the previous oldest known pottery in New Guinea.
It was found in the highlands region, well away from the coast where there was regular contact with other seafaring pottery making cultures such as the Lapita people.
“It is an example of how technology spread among cultures. Some pottery must have soon found its way into the highlands, which inspired the highlanders to try making it themselves,” explained Tim Denham from the Australian National University (ANU) in a statement.
The find will help archaeologists reconstruct how pottery techniques spread from southeast Asia through the Pacific.
It will also give broader insights into the way technology spread throughout early civilisations.
“It is interesting to have pushed back antiquity by several hundred years and in a place where you least expect it,” Denham noted.
It shows human history is not always a smooth progression - later on pottery making was abandoned across most of the highlands of New Guinea. No one knows when or why, he added.