Lapita Burials, a New Lapita Cemetery and Post-Lapita Burials from Malakula, Northern Vanuatu, Southwest Pacific

  • Stuart Bedford Dept. of Archaeology and Natural History, School of Culture, History and Language, The Australian National University
  • Hallie Buckley
  • Frédérique Valentin
  • Nancy Tayles
  • Numa F. Longga
Keywords: Lapita, health and disease, mortuary practice, cemetery, Malakula, Vanuatu, southwest Pacific

Abstract

During archaeological excavations investigating Lapita period sites on the islands of Uripiv and Vao off the northeast coast of Malakula, northern Vanuatu, Lapita (8) and Post-Lapita burials (7) were recovered. These are the first prehistoric burials to be reported on in detail from northern Vanuatu and the site on Uripiv Island has since been confirmed as a Lapita cemetery, one of only three identified to date. The Uripiv cemetery is situated in a separate location to the contemporary midden dumping and habitation areas which has important implications for survey and excavation strategies. The Lapita burials on Vao were situated within the defined extent of the Lapita midden. The skeletal remains provide further rare information on the mortuary practices, health and social behaviour of both Lapita populations and their descendants which demonstrates distinctive change from 3000 to 2000 BP.
How to Cite
Bedford, S., Buckley, H., Valentin, F., Tayles, N. and Longga, N. (1) “Lapita Burials, a New Lapita Cemetery and Post-Lapita Burials from Malakula, Northern Vanuatu, Southwest Pacific”, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 2(2), pp. 26-48. Available at: https://pacificarchaeology.org/index.php/journal/article/view/62 (Accessed: 23July2019).
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