Forty Years in the South Seas

Forty Years in the South Seas

Archaeological Perspectives on the Human History of Papua New Guinea and the Western Pacific Region

Edited by: Anne Ford, Ben Shaw orcid, Dylan Gaffney orcid

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“This edited volume of invited chapters honours the four decades of fundamental research by archaeologist Glenn Summerhayes into the human prehistory of the islands of the western Pacific, especially New Guinea and its offshore islands. This area helped to shape and direct many ancient dispersal events associated with Homo sapiens, initially from Africa more than 50,000 years ago, through the lower latitudes of Asia, into Australia, New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and possibly the Solomon Islands.

Around 3000 years ago, coastal regions of northern and eastern New Guinea, and the islands of Melanesia beyond, played a major role in the Oceanic migrations of Austronesian-speaking peoples from southern China and Southeast Asia, migrations that have recently attained new levels of genetic complexity through the analysis of ancient DNA from human remains. For the first time, humans of both Southeast Asian and New Guinea/Bismarck genetic origin reached the islands of Remote Oceania, beyond the Solomons.

Many of the chapters in this book deal with archaeological aspects of this Austronesian maritime expansion (which never seriously impacted the populations of the New Guinea Highlands), especially as revealed through the analysis of Lapita pottery and associated artefacts. Other chapters offer archaeological perspectives on trade and exchange, and on related topics that extend into the ethnographic era.

The research of Glenn Summerhayes stands centrally amongst all these offerings, ranging from the discovery of some of the oldest traces of Pleistocene human settlement in Papua New Guinea to documentation of the remarkable phenomenon of Lapita expansion through Melanesia into western Polynesia around 3000 years ago. This volume is a fitting celebration of a remarkable career in western Pacific archaeology and population history.”

­— Emeritus Professor Peter Bellwood, The Australian National University


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
May 2024
Terra Australis 57
ANU Press
Terra Australis
Arts & Humanities: Archaeology; Social Sciences: Anthropology
Pacific: Melanesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands

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Forty Years in the South Seas »

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  1. Introduction: Glenn Summerhayes’ forty years in the south seas (PDF, 3.6 MB)Ben Shaw, Anne Ford and Dylan Gaffney doi

Part 1: Glenn Summerhayes in Papua New Guinea

  1. Recollection of Glenn Summerhayes’ relationship with the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery (PDF, 296 KB)Kenneth Miamba, Loretta Hasu, Henry Arifeae, Betty Neanda, Jemina Haro, Joyce Taian and Dickson Kangi doi
  2. Personal reflections on working with Professor Glenn Summerhayes in Papua New Guinea (PDF, 1.1 MB)Roxanne Tsang and Jason Kariwiga doi
  3. Em i tisa blong mi—On the value of community engagement in research (PDF 2.5 MB)Elizabeth Matisoo-Smith doi

Part 2: Lapita

  1. The Lapita pottery of Tamuarawai (EQS), Emirau Island, Papua New Guinea: Studying the form and decoration of one of the earliest pottery assemblages in the western Pacific (PDF, 2.3 MB)Nicholas W.S. Hogg and Glenn R. Summerhayes doi
  2. Understanding social connections within the Bismarck Archipelago through petrographic and motif analyses of Mussau Lapita pottery assemblages (PDF, 1.6 MB)Scarlett Chiu, Yuyin Su, David Killick, Patrick Kirch, Glenn R. Summerhayes, Jim Specht and Wallace Ambrose doi
  3. Lapita pottery makers’ marks: The memory of signs and wonders? (PDF, 1.3 MB)Matthew Spriggs doi
  4. An update on Late Lapita: Its manifestations and associated implications (PDF, 4.4 MB)Stuart Bedford doi

Part 3: Interaction and exchange

  1. Landscapes of exchange in the Willaumez Peninsula, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea (PDF, 1.6 MB)Gustavo F. Bonnat, Robin Torrence and Peter White doi
  2. The difficulty of sourcing prehistoric pottery from Bootless Bay, Central Province, Papua New Guinea (PDF, 5.6 MB)Anne Ford, Jim Allen and Elaine Chen doi
  3. Trading valuables to foreigners in south-east New Guinea in the nineteenth century: The case of Conus armshells (PDF, 2.4 MB)Pamela Swadling, Robin Torrence and Jill Hasell doi
  4. Raided and traded: Sourcing Marind-anim exotic stone objects, south-east Papua (Indonesia) (PDF, 3 MB)Ian J. McNiven and Friedrich E. von Gnielinski doi

Part 4: Cultural landscapes

  1. Mid–late Holocene diversification of cultural identities in the Massim islands and the formative development of Kula: Excavations at the Mumwa site, Panaeati Island (PDF, 6.4 MB)Ben Shaw, Simon Coxe, Jemina Haro, Vincent Kewibu, Kenneth Miamba and Lachlan Sharp doi
  2. Echoes of distant pasts? New Britain, Vanuatu and Felix Speiser (PDF, 721 KB)Jim Specht doi
  3. New ‘mysterious mounds’ in Southern Melanesia: An archaeological study of the Tivoli plateau (Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia) and regional comparisons (PDF, 4.1 MB)Christophe Sand, Jacques Bolé and David Baret doi
  4. The commons in prehistory: The case of Japan (PDF, 2.2 MB)Chris Gosden doi

Part 5: Cultural objects

  1. Late Holocene potting traditions in the far western Pacific: Evidence from the Raja Ampat Islands, 3500–1000 BP (PDF, 7.5 MB)Dylan Gaffney and Daud Tanudirjo doi
  2. Ancient starch and usewear analyses of an excavated pestle fragment from the Upper Kaironk Valley, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea (PDF, 6.2 MB)Judith H. Field, Adelle C. Coster, Ben Shaw, Elspeth Hayes, Richard Fullagar, Michael Lovave, Jemina Haro and Glenn R. Summerhayes doi
  3. Heirlooming and shell money beads in the Solomon Islands (PDF, 2.3 MB)Katherine Szabó and Fiona Petchey doi

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