Oceanic Explorations

Oceanic Explorations

Lapita and Western Pacific Settlement

Edited by: Stuart Bedford orcid, Christophe Sand, Sean P. Connaughton

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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.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Nov 2007
Terra Australis 26
ANU Press
Terra Australis
Arts & Humanities: Archaeology; Social Sciences: Anthropology

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  1. Lapita and Western Pacific Settlement: Progress, prospects and persistent problems (PDF, 282KB)Stuart Bedford and Christophe Sand doi

Lapita Dispersal and Archaeological Signatures

  1. The Origins of Early Lapita Culture: The testimony of historical linguistics (PDF, 566KB)Andrew Pawley doi
  2. Small islands in the big picture: the formative period of Lapita in the Bismarck Archipelago (PDF, 381KB)Jim Specht doi
  3. Lapita all over: Land-use on the Willaumez Peninsula, Papua New Guinea (PDF, 1.3MB)Jim Specht and Robin Torrence doi
  4. Lapita Writ Small? Revisiting the Austronesian Colonisation of the Papuan South Coast (PDF, 603KB)Glenn Summerhayes and Jim Allen doi
  5. Leap-frogging or Limping? Recent evidence from the Lapita Littoral Fringe, New Georgia, Solomon Islands (PDF, 821KB)Matthew Felgate doi
  6. Sample Size and the Reef/Santa Cruz Lapita Sequence (PDF, 279KB)Peter Sheppard and Roger C. Green doi
  7. Makué (Aore Island, Santo, Vanuatu): A new Lapita site in the ambit of New Britain obsidian distribution (PDF, 617KB)Jean-Christophe Galipaud and Mary Clare Swete Kelly doi
  8. Echoes from a distance: Research into the Lapita occupation of the Rove Peninsula, Southwest Viti Levu, Fiji (PDF, 1.2MB)Patrick Nunn doi
  9. Paleoenvironment of Lapita sites on Fanga ‘Uta Lagoon, Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga (PDF, 469KB)William R. Dickinson doi
  10. In Search of Lapita and Polynesian Plainware Settlements in Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga (PDF, 285KB)David V. Burley doi
  11. Can We Dig It? Archaeology of Ancestral Polynesian Society in Tonga: A first look from Falevai (PDF, 336KB)Sean P. Connaughton doi

Lapita Ceramics

  1. The implements of Lapita ceramic stamped ornamentation (PDF, 619KB)Wallace Ambrose doi
  2. The excavation, conservation and reconstruction of Lapita burial pots from the Teouma site, Efate, Central Vanuatu (PDF, 2.2MB)Stuart Bedford, Matthew Spriggs, Ralph Regenvanu, Colin Macgregor, Takaronga Kuautonga and Michael Sietz doi
  3. Detailed analysis of Lapita Face Motifs: Case studies from the Reef/Santa Cruz sites and New Caledonia Lapita Site 13A (PDF, 1.6MB)Scarlett Chiu doi
  4. Looking at the big motifs: A typology of the central band decorations of the Lapita ceramic tradition of New Caledonia (Southern Melanesia) and preliminary regional comparisons (PDF, 1.4MB)Christophe Sand doi
  5. Specialisation, standardisation and Lapita ceramics (PDF, 304KB)Geoffrey Clark doi

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