The Department of Anthropology Colloquium Series Presents

Lapita and its Transformations in Near Oceania, 3400-2600 B.P.

Patrick V. Kirch
Professor of Anthropology
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Thursday, November 7th, 3:00 pm, George Hall 227

The Lapita Cultural Complex, which appears in Near Oceania around 3400 years ago, is the archaeological manifestation of Austronesian-speaking peoples, who would shortly thereafter expand eastwards into Remote Oceania. Extensive excavations at the site of Talepakemalai in the Mussau Islands, carried out in 1985-88, uncovered the earliest and one of the most diverse assemblages of Lapita pottery and associated artifacts. Recent analyses of this collection, including a series of high-precision radiocarbon dates, have shed new light on the chronology of Lapita in New Oceania, and on the rapid transformation of Lapita culture in this Bismarck Archipelago "homeland" region.

Patrick V. Kirch is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa, and the author of more than twenty books on Pacific archaeology and historical anthropology, including The Lapita Peoples: Ancestors of the Oceanic World.