Introduction of the Lapita online database Project

Since the initial discovery of Lapita pottery made by Father Otto Meyer in 1909 on the Watom Island of New Britain, Bismark archipelago, Papua New Guinea, this particular kind of pottery have been found in numerous islands of the Bismark archipelago, Papua New Guinea, and also in the Solomons, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa as well. This particular style of pottery, especially with its dentate-stamped decoration, has become a cultural index for archeologists to estimate the direction and speed of migration, the scale of regional trade, and the development of cultural groups of the Lapita peoples.

 Our Purpose

Funded by the Information Technology Innovation Research Project of Academia Sinica, this Lapita online database project is carried out by Dr. Scarlett Chiu of Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, with collaboration with numerous scholars of the field. Our purpose is to provide a database of Lapita pottery for researchers among different countries to:

  1. perform basic comparison of Lapita sherds from different sites.
  2. generate simple statistic tests online to compare the similarities and dissimilarities among different sites.

 Lapita Pottery Assemblages Included in This Database

Lapita online Database now contains Lapita sherds from the following sites:

 Team and Collaborators

Project Director:

Scarlett Chiu

Project Assistant:

Yu-Yin Su

Part-Time Worker:

Tien-Hui Chen, Nicholas W.S. Hogg, Ting-Yi Li, Liang-Hsuan Ou-Yang


Collaborating Institutes



Institute of Archaeology of New Caledonia and the Pacific, New Caledonia Christophe Sand  
Department of Anthropology University of Auckland Roger Green
School of Culture, History and Language, The Australian National University, Australia Stuart Bedford  
School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University, Australia Matthew Spriggs  
Department of Anthropology, Gender and Sociology, University of Otago, New Zealand Glenn Summerhayes  
Department of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley, United States of America Patrick Kirch  
Research & Collections, Australian Museum, Australia Jim Specht  

Collaborating Institutes ( Support)


Research Center for Information Technology Innovation,Academia Sinica

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