From Lapita to Liturgy: the archaeological and environmental history of the three millennia of human settlement of Aneityum, southern Vanuatu
A project undertaken at the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University, and supervised by Matthew Spriggs and Stuart Bedford
The project investigates the archaeological and environmental history of the 3000 years of human settlement on Aneityum Island, southern Vanuatu. It brings together a multidisciplinary team in collaboration with staff of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and the local community of Anelcauhat village, Aneityum. The island has undergone extraordinary environmental change during its human occupation. Sites to be investigated include a recently-located 3000 year old colonizing site, a previously-investigated swamp which preserves an environmental history of the island to beyond the period of human arrival and the earliest standing structures in Melanesia, the Presbyterian Mission station which began in 1848, and its associated archaeological deposits. Archival records associated with the Mission establish a well-documented historical ‘end point’.
Flexner, J.L. and Spriggs, M. (2015). Mission sites as indigenous heritage in Vanuatu. Journal of Social Archaeology,15(2):184-209.
Flexner, J.L., Spriggs, M.. Bedford, S and Abong, M. (2016). Beginning historical archaeology in Vanuatu: recent projects on the archaeology of Spanish, French and Anglophone colonialism. In S. Monton-Subias, M. Cruz Berrocal and A. Ruiz Martinez (eds) The Archaeology of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism, pp. 205-227. New York: Springer.
Bedford, S., Spriggs, M. and Shing, R.(2016). ‘By all means let us complete the exercise’: the 50 year search for Lapita on Aneityum, Southern Vanuatu, and implications for other “gaps” in the Lapita distribution. Archaeology in Oceania OO:1-9 (available in Early View, DOI:10.1002/arco.5100).