THE earliest evidence of human occupation of Rossel Island in the Louisiade Archipelago of Milne Bay Province dates back to 2,500 years ago according to recent research by Dr Ben Shaw of the University of New South Wales.
Dr Shaw recently presented the results of his research to the University of Papua New Guinea archaeology laboratory group. He undertook extensive field surveys in 2011 and 2012 on Rossel and nearby islands.
The surveys were followed by archaeological excavations in areas judged to have high archaeological potential.
The earliest evidence of human occupation of Rossel dates back to 2,500 years ago and by 1,300 years ago pottery was being imported to Nimowa through ocean-going trade.
Unlike Nimowa, also in the Louisiades, and much of the Milne Bay region, Rossel islanders did not make or use pottery until about 550 years ago.