Detritus of Empire: Seventeenth Century Spanish Pottery from Taumako, Southeast Solomon Islands, and Mota, Northern Vanuatu

Stuart Bedford, William Dickinson, Roger Green, Graeme Ward

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We describe here the recovery and analysis of exotic pottery from the island of Taumako in the Duff Islands of the Southeast Solomon Islands and from Mota in the Banks Islands, Northern Vanuatu. The pottery was found during archaeological fieldwork carried out in the 1970s. It comprises a single surface-collected sherd from Taumako, and half of an amphora-like jar from Mota. Historical records and petrographic analyses point to the two separate pottery samples being non-Oceanic, almost certainly originally sourced from the Spanish colonial industries of Peru, and that they are most likely associated with the 1605-6 Spanish expedition to the Pacific led by the Portuguese navigator Don Pedro Ferdinand De Quiros. The archaeological remains and historic documents also provide further evidence of the strong indigenous inter-island connections of the period.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69-89
    JournalJournal of the Polynesian Society
    Volume118
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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