Going beyond the known World 3000 years ago: Lapita exploration and colonization of Remote Oceania

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The Lapita archaeological horizon, identified more than 40 years ago, has revealed over many decades a remarkable story of human exploration and colonization across a vast region of the Pacific. Interpretations of the phenomenon have substantially changed as increasingly focused research has been undertaken across the entire Lapita distribution, now identified from New Guinea to Tonga. Lapita apparently first appears abruptly in Island New Guinea and then populations move rapidly east. Beyond the main Solomons chain people moved into a region that had never previously been colonised by humans, from a region known as Near Oceania and across a boundary into another region known as Remote Oceania (Kirch 2000, Sand and Bedford 2010). This relatively recent colonization, dating from c. 3000 years ago, of pristine environments, spread across thousands of kilometres of ocean, provides a rare opportunity to investigate a range of globally pertinent research questions related to human behaviour including exploration and colonization strategies, impacts on naïve flora and fauna, adaptations, and cultural and societal transformations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Lapita Cultural Complex in time and space: expansion routes, chronologies and typologies
    Editors Christophe Sand, Scarlett Chiu, Nicholas Hogg
    Place of PublicationNew Caledonia
    PublisherInstitut d'archeologie de la Nouvelle-Caledonie et du Pacifique and Center for Archaeological Studies
    ISBN (Print)9782954167534
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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