Press Release: Lapita Conference 2023


The 10th International Lapita Conference, Weaving the Past, Present and the Future, will be convened at the University of the South Pacific’s Japan-Pacific ICT Centre. Taking place from 26-30 June 2023, a fieldtrip to the Sigatoka Sand Dunes and Nakabuta Village on Saturday 1 July 2023 will close the conference’s activities.

The conference, co-organised this year by the Fiji Museum and the University of the South Pacific, focuses primarily on the discipline of archaeology, which studies the material remains left behind by people in the distant or more recent past. Archaeology straddles the social and natural sciences, and as such draws on various other disciplines to better understand the past, especially when there are no written records. As such, it can be described as a historical science. The 2023 conference will feature over 50 presentations, panels and discussions from specialists involved in academic, museum, cultural heritage and artistic studies. A special highlight of the conference are the five keynote speakers who will share their knowledge and expertise with delegates: Emeritus Professor Matthew Spriggs, Dr Scarlett Chiu, Professor David Burley, Professor Christophe Sand and Dr Tarisi Vunidilo.

Lapita is the foundation culture for the Pacific beyond the main Solomon Islands, including Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. The culture first arose in the Bismarck Archipelago to the east of New Guinea sometime before 3000 years ago and then spread rapidly out as far as Western Polynesia; it is assumed to be associated with the spread of Austronesian languages and the first settlement of Polynesia. Lapita developed out of the Island Southeast Asian Neolithic cultures. The conference has been held in various countries in the Pacific where Lapita has been found from New Guinea to Samoa.

The 10th International Lapita Conference and organizing committee acknowledge the partnership of the Fiji Government, le Gouvernement de la Nouvelle Caledonie, Vodafone Fiji, Punjas, amongst others, and are grateful for their support in convening this momentous occasion.

For more information, please contact: Dr Frank Thomas ( / +679 323 2478) or
Mr Elia Nakoro ( / +679 944 4050).


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