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What is that bird? Pros and cons of the interpretations of Lapita pottery motifs.

Arnaud Noury


While Lapita pottery has fascinated researchers for more than half a century the interpretation of specific designs remains a difficult task that has only been rarely undertaken due to the speculative and contentious nature of such analysis. Here I attempt a tentative interpretation of a design that may help in the analysis of Lapita motifs. The example used is a relatively complex bird-shaped pattern, unidentified so far in the Lapita period, which it is argued may represent a number of specific species.


Lapita pottery, designs, Lapita, birds, pattern, ceramic markers

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ISSN (print) 1179 4704; ISSN (online) 1179 4712
Published with the assistance of the Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, University of Otago.
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