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The Lapita Peoples: Ancestors of the Oceanic World (review)

The Lapita Peoples: Ancestors of the Oceanic World (review) Book Reviews The Lapita Peoples: Ancestors of the Oceanic World. By patrick vinton kirch. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1997. Pp. xxv + 353. $77.95 (cloth); $30.95 (paper). The Lapita Peoples is an ambitious project for a series; edited by Peter Bellwood and Ian Glover, it is dedicated primarily to the living cultures of Southeast Asia and the Pacific. How can one breathe life into mute artifacts left behind by peoples that must have been gone for some 2,500 years? An archaeologist of Lapita culture must infer even the most basic social facts from fragmentary remains of pots and other refuse, or from word lists of a posited protolanguage, where anthropologists and historians, the usual authors for a series such as this, can draw upon more or less direct observation and testimony. Artifacts that provide some direct link to their producers, such as the iconic two-inch human faces that stare out from complex geometric pottery designs or the human figure carved into a small piece of porpoise bone, are unusual finds at only a few of the approximately one hundred sites that have yielded remains of the Lapita culture. And although it is possible to reconstruct words spoken by some, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World History University of Hawai'I Press

The Lapita Peoples: Ancestors of the Oceanic World (review)

Journal of World History , Volume 11 (2) – Oct 1, 2000

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-8050
Publisher site
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Abstract

Book Reviews The Lapita Peoples: Ancestors of the Oceanic World. By patrick vinton kirch. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1997. Pp. xxv + 353. $77.95 (cloth); $30.95 (paper). The Lapita Peoples is an ambitious project for a series; edited by Peter Bellwood and Ian Glover, it is dedicated primarily to the living cultures of Southeast Asia and the Pacific. How can one breathe life into mute artifacts left behind by peoples that must have been gone for some 2,500 years? An archaeologist of Lapita culture must infer even the most basic social facts from fragmentary remains of pots and other refuse, or from word lists of a posited protolanguage, where anthropologists and historians, the usual authors for a series such as this, can draw upon more or less direct observation and testimony. Artifacts that provide some direct link to their producers, such as the iconic two-inch human faces that stare out from complex geometric pottery designs or the human figure carved into a small piece of porpoise bone, are unusual finds at only a few of the approximately one hundred sites that have yielded remains of the Lapita culture. And although it is possible to reconstruct words spoken by some,

Journal

Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 1, 2000

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