Peter Bellwood

Peter Bellwood (PhD Cambridge 1980) is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at The Australian National University in Canberra. His current research is focused on global patterns of human migration throughout human prehistory, but his many years of archaeological fieldwork have been concentrated in Southeast Asia and Oceania. His most recent books include First Islanders (Wiley Blackwell 2017); The Global Prehistory of Human Migration (ed., Wiley Blackwell 2015); First Migrants (Wiley Blackwell 2013); and 4000 Years of Migration and Cultural Exchange (co-edited with Eusebio Dizon, Terra Australis 40, 2013). Peter Bellwood was also the recipient of a festschrift volume, New Perspectives in Southeast Asian and Pacific Prehistory (Philip J. Piper, Hirofumi Matsumura and David Bulbeck [eds]), published as Terra Australis 45 (2017).

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6033-9629

The Spice Islands in Prehistory »

Archaeology in the Northern Moluccas, Indonesia

Edited by: Peter Bellwood
This monograph reports the results of archaeological investigations undertaken in the Northern Moluccas Islands (the Indonesian Province of Maluku Utara) by Indonesian, New Zealand and Australian archaeologists between 1989 and 1996. Excavations were undertaken in caves and open sites on four islands (Halmahera, Morotai, Kayoa and Gebe). The cultural sequence spans the past 35,000 years, commencing with shell and stone artefacts, progressing through the arrival of a Neolithic assemblage with red-slipped pottery, domesticated pigs and ground stone adzes around 1300 BC, and culminating in the appearance of Metal Age assemblages around 2000 years ago. The Metal Age also appears to have been a period of initial pottery use in Morotai Island, suggesting interaction between Austronesian-speaking and Papuan-speaking communities, whose descendants still populate these islands today. The 13 chapters in the volume have multiple authors, and include site excavation reports, discussions of radiocarbon chronology, earthenware pottery, lithic and non-ceramic artefacts, worked shell, animal bones, human osteology and health.

4000 Years of Migration and Cultural Exchange »

The Archaeology of the Batanes Islands, Northern Philippines

Edited by: Peter Bellwood, Eusebio Dizon
The project reported on in this monograph has been concerned with the archaeology of the Batanes Islands, an archipelago that must have been settled quite early in the process of Austronesian dispersal from Taiwan southwards into the Philippines. A multi-phase archaeological sequence covering the past 4000 years for the islands of Itbayat, Batan, Sabtang and Siayan is presented, extending from the Neolithic to the final phase of Batanes prehistory, just prior to the late 17th century arrivals of foreign navigators such as Jirobei (Japan) and William Dampier (England), followed by the first Spanish missionaries. So far, no traces of preceramic settlement have been found in Batanes, but the archaeological sequence there from the Neolithic onwards, like that in the Cagayan Valley in northern Luzon, is now one of the best-established in the Philippines.

Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago »

Revised Edition

Authored by: Peter Bellwood
Since its publication in 1985, Peter Bellwood’s Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago has been hailed as the sole authoritative work on the subject by the leading expert in the field. Now that work has been fully revised and includes a complete up-to-date summary of the archaeology of the region (and relevant neighboring areas of China and Oceania), as well as a comprehensive discussion of new and important issues (such as the “Eve-Garden of Eden” hypothesis and its relevance to the Indo-Malaysian region) and recent advances in macrofamily linguistic classification. Moving north to south from northern Peninsular Malaysia to Timor and west to east from Sumatra to the Moluccas, Bellwood describes human prehistory from initial hominid settlement more than one million years ago to the eve of historical Hindu-Buddhist and Islamic cultures of the region. The archaeological record provides the central focus, but chapters also incorporate essential information from the paleoenvironmental sciences, biological anthropology, linguistics, and social anthropology. Bellwood approaches questions about past cultural and biological developments in the region from a multidisciplinary perspective. Historical issues given extended treatment include the significance of the Homo erectus populations of Java, the dispersal of the present Austronesian-speaking peoples of the region within the past 4,000 years, and the spread of metallurgy since 500 B.C. Bellwood also discusses relationships between the prehistoric populations of the archipelago and those of neighboring regions such as Australia, New Guinea, and mainland Asia.

The Austronesians »

Historical and Comparative Perspectives

The Austronesian-speaking population of the world are estimated to number more than 270 million people, living in a broad swathe around half the globe, from Madagascar to Easter Island and from Taiwan to New Zealand. The seventeen papers in this volume provide a general survey of these diverse populations focusing on their common origins and historical transformations. The papers examine current ideas on the linguistics, prehistory, anthropology and recorded history of the Austronesians. This volume is a publication of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies’ Comparative Austronesian Project.