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592 pages (343 figures)
Monumenta Archaeologica, 47
Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press
Hardback (November 2021)
ISBN-13 9781950446179
ISBN-10 1950446174
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PDF eBook (November 2021)
ISBN-13 9781950446230
ISBN-10 1950446239
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Asian and Pacific Studies
Lapita and Its Transformations in the Mussau Islands of Near Oceania
edited by Patrick Vinton Kirch
The Lapita Cultural Complex--first uncovered in the mid-20th century as a widespread archaeological complex spanning both Melanesia and Western Polynesia--has subsequently become recognized as of fundamental importance to Oceanic prehistory. Notable for its highly distinctive, elaborate, dentate-stamped pottery, Lapita sites date to between 3500-2700 BP, spanning the geographic range from the Bismarck Archipelago to Tonga and Samoa. The Lapita culture has been interpreted as the archaeological manifestation of a diaspora of Austronesian-speaking people (specifically of Proto-Oceanic language) who rapidly expanded from Near Oceania (the New Guinea-Bismarcks region) into Remote Oceania, where no humans had previously ventured. Lapita is thus a foundational culture throughout much of the southwestern Pacific, ancestral to much of the later, ethnographically-attested cultural diversity of the region. 
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