Islands of Inquiry

Islands of Inquiry

Colonisation, seafaring and the archaeology of maritime landscapes

Edited by: Geoffrey Clark orcid, Foss Leach, Sue O'Connor orcid

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This collection makes a substantial contribution to several highly topical areas of archaeological inquiry. Many of the papers present new and innovative research into the processes of maritime colonisation, processes that affect archaeological contexts from islands to continents. Others shift focus from process to the archaeology of maritime places from the Bering to the Torres Straits, providing highly detailed discussions of how living by and with the sea is woven into all elements of human life from subsistence to trade and to ritual. Of equal importance are more abstract discussions of islands as natural places refashioned by human occupation, either through the introduction of new organisms or new systems of production and consumption. These transformation stories gain further texture (and variety) through close examinations of some of the more significant consequences of colonisation and migration, particularly the creation of new cultural identities. A final set of papers explores the ways in which the techniques of archaeological science have provided insights into the fauna of islands and the human history of such places. Islands of Inquiry highlights the importance of an archaeologically informed history of landmasses in the oceans and seas of the world.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Jun 2008
Terra Australis 29
ANU Press
Terra Australis
Arts & Humanities: Archaeology, Art & Music; Social Sciences: Anthropology, Indigenous Studies
Australia; Africa: Madagascar; East Asia: China; Europe: Sweden; Pacific: French Polynesia, Micronesia, New Zealand; Southeast Asia

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  1. Atholl John Anderson: No ordinary archaeologist (PDF, 1.1MB)Foss Leach doi

Modelling seafaring and colonisation

  1. Getting from Sunda to Sahul (PDF, 315KB) – Jim Allen and James F. O’Connell doi
  2. Seafaring simulations and the origin of prehistoric settlers to Madagascar (PDF, 399KB) – Scott M. Fitzpatrick and Richard Callaghan doi
  3. Friction zones in Lapita colonisation (PDF, 364KB) – Geoffrey Clark and Stuart Bedford doi
  4. Flights of fancy: Fractal geometry, the Lapita dispersal and punctuated colonisation in the Pacific (PDF, 264KB) – Ian Lilley doi
  5. Demographic expansion, despotism and the colonisation of East and South Polynesia (PDF, 205KB) – Douglas J. Kennett and Bruce Winterhalder doi
  6. The long pause and the last pulse: Mapping East Polynesian colonisation (PDF, 548KB) – Tim Thomas doi

Lapita Ceramics

  1. Be careful what you ask for: Archaeozoological evidence of mid-Holocene climate change in the Bering Sea and implications for the origins of Arctic Thule (PDF, 556KB) – Susan J. Crockford doi
  2. Ritualised marine midden formation in western Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait) (PDF, 2.5MB) – Ian J. McNiven and Duncan Wright doi
  3. Sailing between worlds: The symbolism of death in northwest Borneo (PDF, 899KB) – Katherine Szabo, Philip J. Piper and Graeme Barker doi
  4. Land and sea animal remains from Middle Neolithic Pitted Ware sites on Gotland Island in the Baltic Sea, Sweden (PDF, 480KB) – Helene Martinsson-Wallin doi
  5. A cache of one-piece fishhooks from Pohara, Takaka, New Zealand (PDF, 775KB) – Janet Davidson and Foss Leach doi
  6. Trans-oceanic transfer of bark-cloth technology from South China–Southeast Asia to Mesoamerica? (PDF, 473KB) – Judith Cameron doi

Island environments: Theory, biological introductions and transformations

  1. Are islands islands? Some thoughts on the history of chalk and cheese (PDF, 206KB) – Matthew Spriggs doi
  2. No fruit on that beautiful shore: What plants were introduced to the subtropical Polynesian islands prior to European contact? (PDF, 620KB) – Matthew Prebble doi
  3. One thousand years of human environmental transformation in the Gambier Islands (French Polynesia) (PDF, 1.3MB) – Eric Conte and Patrick V. Kirch doi
  4. Stora Karlsö – a tiny Baltic island with a puzzling past (PDF, 943KB) – Rita Larje doi
  5. East of Easter: Traces of human impact in the far-eastern Pacific (PDF, 430KB) – Iona Flett and Simon Haberle doi
  6. Subsistence and island landscape transformations: Investigating monumental earthworks in Ngaraard State, Republic of Palau, Micronesia (PDF, 969KB) – Sarah Phear doi
  7. Historical significance of the Southwest Islands of Palau (PDF, 1.0MB) – Michiko Intoh doi

Ethnohistory, cross-cultural contact and archaeology in Australasia and the Pacific

  1. The historical archaeology of New Zealand’s prehistory (PDF, 156KB) – Matthew Campbell doi
  2. Trans-Tasman stories: Australian Aborigines in New Zealand sealing and shore whaling (PDF, 290KB) – Nigel Prickett doi
  3. Maori, Pakeha and Kiwi: Peoples, cultures and sequence in New Zealand archaeology (PDF, 182KB) – Ian Smith doi
  4. Translating the 18th century pudding (PDF, 225KB) – Helen Leach doi
  5. Boat images in the rock art of northern Australia with particular reference to the Kimberley, Western Australia (PDF, 622KB) – Sue O’Connor and Steve Arrow doi
  6. The shifting place of Ngai Tahu rock art (PDF, 672KB) – Gerard O’Regan doi

Archaeological science and taphonomy

  1. Phosphates and bones: An analysis of the courtyard of marae Manunu, Huahine, Society Islands, French Polynesia (PDF, 717KB) – Paul Wallin, Inger Österholm, Sven Österholm and Reidar Solsvik doi
  2. The physical and mineralogical characteristics of pottery from Mochong, Rota, Mariana Islands (PDF, 561KB) – Foss Leach, Janet Davidson, Graeme Claridge, Graeme Ward and John Craib doi
  3. The dry and the wet: The variable effect of taphonomy on the dog remains from the Kohika Lake Village, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand (PDF, 824KB) – Graeme Taylor and Geoffrey Irwin doi
  4. Taphonomic analysis of the Twilight Beach seals (PDF, 430KB) – Lisa Nagaoka, Steve Wolverton and Ben Fullerton doi
  5. A new genus and species of pigeon (Aves: Columbidae) from Henderson Island, Pitcairn Group (PDF, 328KB) – Trevor H. Worthy and Graham M. Wragg doi

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