2020 Tom Austen Brown Memorial Lecture | James Flexner
Dr James Flexner | University of Sydney
Excavating a tropical paradise: The archaeology of Southern Vanuatu
When considering the state of archaeology in the present, it’s easy to believe that everything has been ‘dug to death’ when imagining how much fieldwork has been done over the past century or more.
This is far from the case in the Pacific region, where many remote and hard to reach islands have yet to see even limited excavations. In this talk I present the results of four years of archaeological fieldwork among the small islands of southern Vanuatu. This collaborative project brought together archaeologists from research institutions in Australia, France, and Vanuatu.
Starting from a position of relatively little information of even basic site locations or chronologies, particularly for the ‘Polynesian Outliers’ of Futuna and Aniwa, we were able to piece together relatively comprehensive histories of Islander resource use, settlement patterns, and regional interactions for this area over the last 3000 years. I will also consider briefly the potential for future research in the area, as the archaeology of southern Vanuatu still has plenty of secrets to reveal.
Special guest – Matthew Spriggs ANU
Hosted by the Tom Austen Brown Endowment in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).
Watch the 2020 Tom Austen Brown Lecture
Thursday 19 November 2020, 6:30-7:30pm
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The Tom Austen Brown Endowment and the Department of Archaeology are part of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).