Uncovering Pacific Pasts

Uncovering Pacific Pasts

Histories of Archaeology in Oceania

Edited by: Hilary Howes orcid, Tristen Jones orcid, Matthew Spriggs orcid

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Objects have many stories to tell. The stories of their makers and their uses. Stories of exchange, acquisition, display and interpretation. This book is a collection of essays highlighting some of the collections, and their object biographies, that were displayed in the Uncovering Pacific Pasts: Histories of Archaeology in Oceania (UPP) exhibition. The exhibition, which opened on 1 March 2020, sought to bring together both notable and relatively unknown Pacific material culture and archival collections from around the globe, displaying them simultaneously in their home institutions and linked online at www.uncoveringpacificpasts.org. Thirty‑eight collecting institutions participated in UPP, including major collecting institutions in the United Kingdom, continental Europe and the Americas, as well as collecting institutions from across the Pacific.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Jun 2022
ANU Press
Pacific Series
Arts & Humanities: Archaeology, History

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  1. Uncovering Pacific Pasts: Histories of Archaeology in Oceania – An exhibition (PDF, 3.0MB)Tristen Jones, Hilary Howes and Matthew Spriggs doi

Part 1: Early European exploration in the Pacific, 1500s – 1870s

  1. European interests and ideas on the diversity of human cultures in the Pacific (1500s – 1870s) (PDF, 0.2MB)Matthew Spriggs doi
  2. ‘Artificial curiosities’ and the Royal Navy (PDF, 1.3MB)Alison Mann doi
  3. 1800: How the ‘South Seas savages’ became ‘antique monuments’ (PDF, 1.3MB)Emilie Dotte-Sarout doi
  4. The mystery of the Moscow ki‘i (PDF, 0.7MB)Elena Govor and Ekaterina Balakhonova doi
  5. Watercolour of Fijian man, painted by Charles Pickering (PDF, 1.4MB)William Scates Frances doi
  6. Idol speculations: Aneityum Nelcau and Dr Turner’s missionary archaeology (PDF, 0.5MB)Eve Haddow and Andy Mills doi

Part 2: The first archaeological excavations,1870s – 1910s

  1. The first archaeological excavations (1870s – 1910s) (PDF, 0.3MB)Matthew Spriggs doi
  2. Sir Julius von Haast and Roger Duff (PDF, 0.7MB)Emma Brooks doi
  3. The Pacific archaeology and ethnography of Hjalmar Stolpe and the Vanadis Expedition, 1883–85 (PDF, 0.8MB)Aoife O’Brien doi
  4. Stephenson Percy Smith (1840–1922), founder of the Polynesian Society (PDF, 2.4MB)Sascha Nolden doi
  5. Alfred Haddon: A ‘palaeontologist’ in the Torres Strait (PDF, 1.8MB)Anita Herle and Duncan Wright doi
  6. Patterns of connection: The Wanigela shells revisited (PDF, 1.2MB)Elizabeth Bonshek doi
  7. Superiority complex: Rudolf Pöch’s interpretations of archaeological finds at Wanigela (PDF, 1.4MB)Hilary Howes doi
  8. Global journeys of Lapita potsherds from the Bismarck Archipelago (PDF, 1.1MB)Hilary Howes doi
  9. Shell trumpets sounding in the stone city: Paul Hambruch and Nan Madol (PDF, 1.1MB)Hilary Howes doi
  10. Huli hele nā wahi pana (seeking out storied places): The contributions of John F.G. Stokes to the field of Hawaiian archaeology (PDF, 1.3MB)Mara A. Mulrooney and Jillian A. Swift doi
  11. Intelligent eyes: Visualising Rapa Nui (Easter Island) archaeology (PDF, 1.0MB)Jo Anne Van Tilburg doi

Part 3: The burgeoning field of anthropology and archaeology, 1918–45

  1. The burgeoning field of anthropology and archaeology (1918–45) (PDF, 0.2MB)Matthew Spriggs doi
  2. A collector of ideas: Roland Burrage Dixon and the beginnings of professional American anthropology in the Pacific (PDF, 2.2MB)Tristen Jones and Ingrid Ahlgren doi
  3. Searching for origins: Archaeology and the government officers of Papua (PDF, 1.8MB)Anna Edmundson doi
  4. Father Wilhelm Schmidt, Indigenous beliefs and Oceanic collections in the Vatican’s Anima Mundi Museum (PDF, 1.3MB)Katherine Aigner doi
  5. H.D. Skinner (PDF, 1.1MB)Moira White doi
  6. The vicissitudes of Lapita pottery, 1909–45: The Melbourne witness (PDF, 1.3MB)Matthew Spriggs doi
  7. Looking beyond Australia’s shores in the 1930s: F.D. McCarthy in Southeast Asia (PDF, 0.9MB)Campbell Macknight doi

Part 4: Archaeology as a profession in the Pacific,1945–present

  1. Archaeology as a profession in the Pacific (1945 – present) (PDF, 0.3MB)Matthew Spriggs and Hilary Howes doi
  2. The first Lapita pottery found in Fiji: Links to an early Pacific world (PDF, 1.5MB)Matthew Spriggs doi
  3. Ratu Rabici Logavatu and Aubrey Parke: Two archaeological pioneers of the Fijian Administration (PDF, 1.7MB)Matthew Spriggs doi
  4. Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki Museum’s research in the Marquesas and on Rapa Nui/Easter Island, 1955–63 (PDF, 1.4MB)Reidar Solsvik doi
  5. Aurora Natua and the Motu Paeao site: Unlocking French Polynesia’s islands for Pacific archaeologists (PDF, 1.2MB)Emilie Dotte-Sarout, Tamara Maric and Guillaume Molle doi
  6. Jack Golson in New Zealand (PDF, 1.0MB)Louise Furey doi
  7. An emerging major centre: Pacific archaeology at The Australian National University (1961–79) (PDF, 1.0MB)Mirani Litster, Tristen Jones and Hilary Howes doi
  8. Roger Curtis Green (1932–2009) (PDF, 1.3MB)Peter Sheppard and Louise Furey doi
  9. Sue Bulmer and New Guinea archaeology (PDF, 1.2MB)Glenn R. Summerhayes doi
  10. Then and now: W.H. Davenport’s 1966 archaeological expedition to Santa Ana with new data on the plainware pottery (PDF, 1.5MB)Adria H. Katz and Marie-Claude Boileau doi
  11. Conclusion: Highlights from the Uncovering Pacific Pasts exhibition (PDF, 1.4MB)Tristen Jones, Hilary Howes and Matthew Spriggs doi

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