Before, during and after Lapita: 5000 years of cultural continuity and transformation at Caution Bay, southern Papua New Guinea

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

The Lapita potters of the western Pacific are famed worldwide for colonising 4500km of seascape 3400-3000 years ago. Yet after 50 years' search, no reliable Lapita sites had been found on mainland Papua New Guinea, a mere 90km west of the Lapita homeland. In 2009 this all changed with the discovery near Port Moresby of one of the largest Lapita landscapes ever found, well away from any previously known Lapita colonisation route. We aim to document in detail these Lapita assemblages and their transformations out of Lapita, and document evidence for interactions with local peoples. In light of these unprecedented finds, this project will help re-write the history of coastal and island Melanesians, Australia's closest neighbours.
Effective start/end date3/01/1328/02/17


  • Australian Research Council (ARC): A$292,858.00
  • Australian Research Council (ARC): A$467,142.00