Stuart Bedford

Stuart Bedford is a Senior Lecturer at The Australian National University and Associate at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. He has been involved in the discovery and investigation of Lapita sites in Vanuatu since 1995. This has involved undertaking archaeological research on most of the islands of the archipelago on some of the best preserved Lapita sites known, which has helped transform the understanding of Lapita across its Pacific distribution.

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6476-5617

Debating Lapita »

Distribution, Chronology, Society and Subsistence

‘This volume is the most comprehensive review of Lapita research to date, tackling many of the lingering questions regarding origin and dispersal. Multidisciplinary in nature with a focus on summarising new findings, but also identifying important gaps that can help direct future research.’ — Professor Scott Fitzpatrick, Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon ‘This substantial volume offers a welcome update on the definition of the Lapita culture. It significantly refreshes the knowledge on this foundational archaeological culture of the Pacific Islands in providing new data on sites and assemblages, and new discussions of hypotheses previously proposed.’ — Dr Frédérique Valentin, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Paris This volume comprises 23 chapters that focus on the archaeology of Lapita, a cultural horizon associated with the founding populations who first colonised much of the south west Pacific some 3000 years ago. The Lapita culture has been most clearly defined by its distinctive dentate-stamped decorated pottery and the design system represented on it and on further incised pots. Modern research now encompasses a whole range of aspects associated with Lapita and this is reflected in this volume. The broad overlapping themes of the volume—Lapita distribution and chronology, society and subsistence—relate to research questions that have long been debated in relation to Lapita.

Oceanic Explorations »

Lapita and Western Pacific Settlement

Edited by: Stuart Bedford, Christophe Sand, Sean P. Connaughton
Lapita comprises an archaeological horizon that is fundamental to the understanding of human colonisation and settlement of the Pacific as it is associated with the arrival of the common ancestors of the Polynesians and many Austronesian-speaking Melanesians more than 3000 years ago. While Lapita archaeology has captured the imagination and sustained the focus of archaeologists for more than 50 years, more recent discoveries have inspired renewed interpretations and assessments. Oceanic Explorations reports on a number of these latest discoveries and includes papers which reassess the Lapita phenomenon in light of this new data. They reflect on a broad range of interrelated themes including Lapita chronology, patterns of settlement, migration, interaction and exchange, ritual behaviour, sampling strategies and ceramic analyses, all of which relate to aspects highlighting both advances and continuing impediments associated with Lapita research.

Pieces of the Vanuatu Puzzle »

Archaeology of the North, South and Centre

Authored by: Stuart Bedford
Pieces of the Vanuatu Puzzle presents the results of the most intensive and widespread archaeological investigations in Vanuatu for more than 30 years. For the first time the results of extensive excavations carried out on three islands in the archipelago are published. The sites span from the period of initial Lapita settlement through to later cultural transformations. The research has brought greater clarity to the early history of the Vanuatu archipelago and has wider implications for the region in general particularly in terms of how processes of cultural change are explained. It is an essential reference work both for those archaeologists working in the western Pacific but also for those who deal with material culture generally and pottery more specifically.