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Ref ID: 24010
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Anson, Dimitri
Title: Compositional analyses of dentate-stamped Lapita and nail-incised and applied relief pottery from Watom Island
Date: 1999
Source: Le Pacifique de 5000 à 2000 avant le présent
Place of Publication: Paris
Publisher: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement
Abstract: The discovery of sites in Western Melanesia where pottery decorated with incisions and applied-relief is dominant and only a handful of dentate-stamped sherds is present, has lead to some to re-examine the meaning of the term "Lapita site." It is also suggested that aceramic sites earlier than Lapita may display traits hitherto associated with the Lapita cultural complex. While the origins of the incised and applied relief pottery style are uncertain, it has been proposed that it may derive from pottery in sites in NW New Guinea which are earlier than Lapita. This would lend support to "indigenist," "just pots" scenarios representing Lapita as one of several competing fashions in pottery decoration: a "culturally unaccompanied baggage" peripheral to the story of Oceanian settlement. A number of alternative models have also been proposed to account for the replacement of Lapita pottery in Melanesia by ceramics decorated with incision and applied-relief. Excavations on most Watom Island locations have produced large numbers of dentate-stamped Lapita sherds and a large number of sherds with nail-impressed and applied-relief decoration which has been likened to the incised and applied-relief Mangaasi pottery. To address current issues concerning Lapita, this paper reviews the results of electron microprobe and optical mineralogy compositional analyses carried out on pottery samples from Watom Island. These indicate the presence of compositional differences amongst the dentate-stamped Lapita and nail-incised and applied relief pottery.
Date Created: 11/1/2006
Editors: Galipaud, Jean-Christophe
Lilley, Ian
Page Start: 85
Page End: 103