Story: Pacific migrations

Lapita pottery

Lapita pottery

A human face stares from these remnants of Lapita pottery, dated 1000 BCE. They come from the Santa Cruz group of islands, south-east of the Solomon Islands. Around 3000 BCE ceramic-making peoples appeared in Taiwan. Taiwanese pottery was red-slipped but otherwise plain. Over the next 1,500 years their descendants moved south and south-east towards Near Oceania. In the Bismarck Archipelago these Austronesian peoples mixed with the indigenous inhabitants and the Lapita culture, with its distinctive pottery, emerged. Lapita pottery had surface decorations; these motifs probably already existed in tattoos.

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University of Auckland, Department of Anthropology, Anthropology Photographic Archive

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How to cite this page:

Geoff Irwin, 'Pacific migrations - Into Remote Oceania: Lapita people', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 July 2024)

Story by Geoff Irwin, published 8 Feb 2005, reviewed & revised 8 Feb 2017