Recent studies have dramatically shortened the chronology of Lapita pottery production in Remote Oceania, allowing this easily identifiable, decorated ceramic ware to be used as a precise temporal marker of first Austronesian settlement in this vast region. Unresolved questions about the precise date of settlement of the Loyalty Islands, located strategically between southern Vanuatu and the Grande Terre of New Caledonia, hinted at a clear picture of the direction and timing of the spread of the Lapita Cultural Complex in southern Melanesia. The results of the excavation of a Lapita site on Mare´, in the south of the Loyalty Islands, are presented here, allowing firm placement of the first settlement phase of this region around 1050–1000 B.C., well in line withrecen t regional chronologies.
Asian Perspectives – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 19, 2002