What Happened at the End of Lapita: Lapita to Post-Lapita Pottery Transition in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea
This study presents a detailed Lapita to Post-Lapita sequence/transition with chronology at particular sites in west New Britain, through the medium of pottery analysis of style and production. The data allow me to address the research questions: (1) the cultural change that happened toward the end of Lapita, and (2) the issue of cultural continuity/discontinuity between the Lapita and Post-Lapita periods. This study identified a cultural change with greater break down and regionalization/diversification of the Lapita societies in the Late Lapita phase around and after 2750/2700 BP. This study also identified detailed pottery characterization, production, and provenance in west New Britain through compositional analysis, using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), which helps in understanding the interactions in the Lapita and Post-Lapita periods between west New Britain and other regions. In addition, this study identified a distinctive vessel form of double spouted pots of Lapita pottery that might originate from Island Southeast Asia, and demonstrates that after Lapita peoples had reached the Bismarcks, they maintained contact with homeland communities in Island Southeast Asia, and the double spouted pots were later introduced to the Bismarcks through interactions.
Advisor: Summerhayes, Glenn; Prior, David; Walter, Richard
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Anthropology and Archaeology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Lapita, “culture transition”, pottery, “New Britain”, “Papua New Guinea”, “pottery characterization”, SEM, Austronesian, migration, interaction, “Island Southeast Asia”, Oceania.
Research Type: Thesis