The site of Leki Wakik, Manatuto District, Timor-Leste

Jack Fenner, Mirani Litster, Tim Maloney, Tse Siang Lim, Stuart Hawkins, Sally Brockwell, Prudence Gaffey, Andrew McWilliam, Sandra Pannell, Richard C. Willan, Susan O'Connor

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Leki Wakik is a large hilltop site with several large stone walls and circular stone arrangements located within the Manatuto district in the central region of Timor-Leste. It is similar to other hilltop sites in the area whose function and occupation time frame have been subject to debate (e.g. Lape and Chao 2008; O'Connor et al. 2012). In August 2011, a team from The Australian National University (ANU) supported by Timorese workers mapped the site and excavated five test pits intended to assess site use and occupation time frame. A substantial artefact assemblage was recovered that includes lithics, earthenware pottery, ceramics and faunal remains, which provides evidence of the use of the site and the surrounding landscape and, particularly, whether unusual circular stone arrangements demarcate special activity or occupation areas. A series of radiocarbon dates from an unusual area surrounded on three sides by large stone walls provide chronological context for the site. We begin by discussing Leki Wakik's location within the landscape and its general layout and surface configuration. We then review historical and ethnological information about the site. Subsequent sections describe our excavation and analysis methods, followed by a detailed review of the results, including excavation pit stratigraphy and associated chronology (where available), and the cultural material assemblage of lithics, earthenware, tradeware ceramics, invertebrate faunal remains (mostly mollusc shell) and vertebrate faunal remains. We then use this information to characterise the site, beginning by identifying patterns that span multiple artefact classification types and continuing with a consideration of whether Leki Wakik should be classified as a fortified site in the context of other Timor-Leste fortified sites. The concluding section summarises our assessment of the site.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationForts and Fortification in Wallacea: Archaeological and Ethnohistoric Investigations (Terra Australis 53)
    EditorsS. O'Connor, A. McWilliam & S. Brockwell
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    PublisherANU Press
    ISBN (Print)9781760463892
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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