PIXE-PIGME analysis of 19 obsidian artefacts from Lakeba Island in east Fiji identified contact with northern Vanuatu in the post-colonization period (c. 2500-1000 bp) of Fiji. The Lakeba obsidian is the only physical evidence for interaction across the 850 km water gap separating the archipelagos of Vanuatu and Fiji in the first millennium ad. New research on the Vanuatu obsidian sources with laser ablation - inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) casts serious doubt on the validity of a long-distance inter-archipelago connection in the post-Lapita era. This paper presents the re-analysis of 18 obsidian artefacts from Lakeba using LA-ICP-MS and radiogenic isotope results that demonstrate that the Lakeba obsidian is not from Vanuatu, and it most likely derives from the Fiji-Tonga region. Geochemical evidence for long-distance interaction and migration between the West and Central Pacific in the post-Lapita era has yet to be identified.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|