Lapita : in the middle of the Pacific, this unusual and barely known name is that of a civilisation dating back over 3000 years. In less than four centuries, the culture, its language and traditions spread over 4,500 km across the Southwest Pacific, as far as Western Polynesia. Characterised by two key features – the introduction of Austronesian languages into the region by explorers and a very unique tradition of pottery with dotted designs – the Lapita culture has fascinated many generations of researchers. About 250 sites identified so far have revealed the production of pottery with decorations featuring geometric and anthropomorphic motifs. This coherent group is a real archaeological marker of the journey of the Austronesian-speaking peoples in the Southwest Pacific. This book leads us to discover this Pacific civilisation, which by the extraordinary quality of its creations, still manages to captivate, and has left its mark on traditional graphic design in the Pacific.
A collective work compiled by Christophe Sand, director of the Institute of Archaeology of New Caledonia and the Pacific and Stuart Bedford, researcher at the Department of Archaeology and Natural History at the Australian National University.
350 pages • 20 x 30 cm • 39 €
Co-published by musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac / Somogy 2010