Vanuatu field school

Watch this space: The Vanuatu Field School is scheduled for July 2023!

Save the date! The ANU Vanuatu Field School is coming soon, in July 2023.

Watch this space for more information, but start planning for it now!

The field school will be investigating a newly discovered colonising settlement on Efate Island, in central Vanuatu. This phase relates to what is known as the Lapita period, beginning some 3,000 years ago.

Initial investigations at the site indicate that settlement in the area continues for at least 1,600 years, following later pottery traditions recorded across the site.

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Preliminary excavations have confirmed that huge mound features at the site represent midden dumping by large numbers of people over a short time. They comprise shellfish, bone, pottery and other discards. The field school will investigate these mounds and the wider landscape, defining the period of initial arrival and tracking transformation in material culture and settlement over time.

We expect to recover substantial collections of Lapita and later pottery, as well as terrestrial faunal remains, including extinct species along with abundant fishbone and shellfish.

Visits will be undertaken to other important sites on Efate, including the Roi Mata UNESCO World Heritage site and the National Museum. This field school is coordinated by Associate Professor Stuart Bedford.