Baikaboria Ossuary and the Origins of the Kesele Clan, Upper Kikori River, Papua New Guinea.


  • Bryce Barker University of Southern Queensland
  • Lara Lamb
  • Tiina Manne


Ossuary, Clan fissioning, hiri trade


This paper presents archaeological evidence for the initial occupation and use of a large clan ossuary on the upper Kikori River at Baina in Papua New Guinea. Drawing extensively on clan oral accounts of its use and function, it is posited that the timing and use of the site as an ossuary effectively dates the establishment of a sub clan entity known as Kesele and the fragmentation of larger clan based land owning units into smaller sub-clan entities dating from around 200 years ago in the region. It is further posited that evidence of the more intensive use of the site from around 600 years ago and its subsequent use as an ossuary at 200 years ago may be linked to its proximity to an important lithic raw material source used in the manufacture of sago pounders, a major trade item linked to the hiri pottery trade.




How to Cite

Barker, B., Lamb, L. and Manne, T. (2016) “ Papua New Guinea”., Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 7(1), pp. 89–105. Available at: (Accessed: 21 May 2024).




Most read articles by the same author(s)