Archaeological
Field Schools
Indo-Pacific
Prehistory Association
The Anthropologist
in the Field
American Association of
Southeast Asian Archaeologists
Pacific
Anthropology
International Conference for the 50th anniversary of the first Lapita excavation (July 1952)
Pacific Archaeology: assessments and prospects
 

FOURTH ANNOUNCEMENT- JULY 2002

Koné - Nouméa, New Caledonia

31 July-7 August 2002

Organizer

New Caledonia Government
(Contact C. Sand, Department of Archeology, New Caledonia Museum,
BP: 2393, 98846 Nouméa, New Caledonia)
sand.smp@gouv.nc

http://www.lapita.org/2002/fr/

http://www.lapita.org/2002/en/


With the support of:
The Northern Province, the Southern Province, the Mission aux Affaires Culturelles, the SPC-Secretariat of the Pacific Community

And the participation of:
S.M.S.P., Qantas

Introduction
Objectives of the Conference
Calendar
Conference Venue
Proposals of papers
Trip to New Caledonia
Accommodations
Food
Registration for the Conference
Day-tour during the Conference
Post-conference tour
Final publication
Other points
Preliminary Program
Registration Form

Version Française

ENGLISH VERSION
Introduction

Between February and September 1952, American professor E. Gifford from Berkeley University, with the assistance of R. Shutler jr., conduced on the Grande Terre the first modern archaeological program recorded for New Caledonia. In all, 53 prehistoric sites were surveyed and 11 excavated. The work of Gifford and Shutler on the southernmost archipelago of Melanesia, published in 1956, had a considerable regional scientific impact, and was regularly re-used by scientists during the following decades.

During the survey of the West Coast, site Number 13 was given to a beach-site located near the Foué peninsula, where from the beginning of the 20th century, pottery sherds bearing particular dentate stamped motifs had been described. An excavation was conduced between July 26th and August 2nd on Site 13, called "Lapita" by the American archaeologists after a rewriting of the indigenous name heard in the local Haveke language. The importance of this site appeared as soon as the Carbon 14 dates came back, showing the settlement of Lapita and the manufacture of dentate stamped pots as early as 800 years BC, a period far older than the then-supposed date of first human colonisation of the Pacific.

During the succeeding decades, interest in the type of pottery discovered at Site 13 expanded. Dentate stamped sherds have today been discovered in more than one hundred sea-shore sites throughout a region extending from New Guinea in the northwest to Western Polynesia in the east, covering a maritime area of over 4000 km. During the 1960s, Pacific archaeologists started labelling this type of pottery by the name of Site 13, "Lapita", associating it with the first human settlement of Remote Oceania. During the 1990s, renewed excavations on different localities of the Lapita beach and the exceptional discovery of a collection of well preserved decorated pots, have confirmed that this site warranted it's fame.

Top

Objectives of the Conference

The excavations conducted in 1952 on Grande Terre, and in particular the dating of Site 13 of Lapita, are considered as the starting point of modern archaeological research in the south-western Pacific, specially with the first use of Carbon 14 dates. The year 2002 will mark the 50th anniversary of this pioneering program by Gifford and Shutler. This date seems appropriate to organize in New Caledonia an International Conference, with the objective to make a critical assessment of the results gained during the last half century and to identify future research prospects. The goal is not only to organize a Conference with individuals presenting papers, but also to propose a day session presenting a broad, general synthesis of Pacific archaeology, as well as a day of commemoration.

The Conference is constructed around three major objectives. (1) The first objective, justifying the Conference, is the presentation by scholars of scientific papers on the Pacific Islands, during different days in a conference hall. (2) The second objective is the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first excavation at Lapita, around Pr R. Shutler Jr., main invited personality, as well as other invited guests. This will take place with the active participation of the populations of New Caledonia and the Pacific, with the venue of representatives of major Lapita sites of the South-western Pacific, for a meeting with the representatives of Lapita sites from New Caledonia. (3) Photographic exhibitions in the tribes and in Nouméa of the pictures taken in 1952 during the excavations on Grande Terre, will allow a return of the event to the local population.

Top

Calendar

The Conference is planned to be organized on a whole week (plus transport), between July 31st and August 7th 2002, to coincide with the anniversary-dates of the excavations at Lapita in 1952. The Conference will be decentralized. In it's first part, it will be located in Koné (Lapita), about 260 km from Noumea, with a visit of sites, before a second part located in Noumea. Details of the planning are published hereafter.

Top

Conference Venue

The Conference will take place August 1st and 2nd in the buildings of the Northern Province Hotel (Northern Province), and August 5, 6 and 7 in the main room of the SPC-Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Noumea.

Top

Proposals of papers

At reception of this third announcement, we would like all the people who answered to the second announcement to confirm their participation, eventually with a title of paper, and the interested people who haven’t contacted us yet to propose a paper-title fitting the broad themes “Works in process in Pacific Archaeology” and “New methods and research topics in Pacific Archaeology”.

The papers can present any research-topic conduced in the Pacific region (Australia, Melanesia, Polynesia, Micronesia), as well as South-East Asian topics related to the Pacific. Papers can be 25-30 minutes long, before questions. Presentation material (power-point, slide projector, retro-projector) will be furnished. The main language for the papers should be English.

Top

Trip to New Caledonia

Participants to the Conference are expected to pay for their transportation to New Caledonia. We advise you to book your tickets well in advance, as flights to New Caledonia at that time of the year are rapidly full. Air France, Air Caledonie International, Qantas, Air Vanuatu and Air New Zealand fly to Noumea.

Top

Accommodations

Koné: From July 31st to August 3d included, the Conference will be located in Koné (Northern Province). We have booked a set of buildings for participants who wish to stay in simple rooms with 4 beds and WC/Shower. This accommodation is proposed for free by the organising comity. The is a limited number of beds, so interested people should contact us as soon as possible to be registered.

Koné village has only two hotels: Hôtel Koniambo, with rooms at 2250 F CFP (20 US $) per person (reservation FAX: (687) 47 39 41) and Hôtel Monitel Hibiscus (more expensive), with room per person starting at 5750 F CFP (40 US $) (reservation FAX: (687) 47 25 35; E-Mail: hibiscus@canl.nc ).

Noumea: accommodation in Noumea must de planed from your arrival to July 31st in the morning, and from August 4th in the afternoon until your departure-day (excluding people who go on the post-conference tour). The organisers of the Conference have received a very good rate-proposal from the Hôtel Novotel Surf (***), located less than 10 minutes by foot from the conference room. This Sea-side Hotel (see site www.novotel.grands-hotels.cc) has recently been completely reorganized, with pleasant rooms, mostly looking towards the sea, and with Lapita decorations on some walls. A swimming pool is present and the beach is just on the other side of the road. For kava addicted, a Nakamal is opened every evening near the beach. The rate proposed by the Hotel is 4000 F CFP (30 US $) per person (2 beds room), and 3300 F CFP (25 US $) per person (3 beds room). For those willing to bring their family, two beds for children under 16 years are free in the parents room. More expensive rooms are also available (contact the Hotel or the organisers). For reservation, please contact by FAX (687) 28 52 23 or novotelnc.resa@offratel.nc, with the title “for Pascale, Lapita conference”. You can get in contact with Pascale, the local sales marketing manager, at the following E-Mail: pascale.dall@lagoon.nc.

Noumea has a lot of other Hotels, but you will have to take into account the cost of daily trip to the Conference location. For a general list, go to the following Website: www.new-caledonia-tourism.nc. A Youth Hostel is located in the city-centre, about 30-45 minutes away with public transport. One bed in small dormitories costs 1500 F CFP (11 US $) and a double room is 3100 F CFP (22 US $) (reservation by FAX: (687) 25 48 17). Finally, for people short in finances, we can try to find accommodation in private houses: please contact us.

Top

Food

The number of restaurants in Koné being limited, the organisers will organise for lunches. Except for the receptions and the day trip, participants to the Conference are expected to pay for their lunches.

Numerous restaurants can be found in Noumea, with prices starting around 1500-2500 F CFP (10-20 US $). Various receptions are planed during the week, and will shorten the number of outside meals. Breakfast is 1400 F CFP (10 US $) at the Hotel Novotel Surf. Be aware : New Caledonia is expensive, and the prices are higher than those usually found in the other Archipelagos of the region.

Top

Registration for the Conference

On arrival, participants will be picked-up at the Tontouta Airport (45 minutes from Noumea) and left at their Hotel: do not forget to send us your flight arrival. Registration fee has been fixed at 10 000 F CFP (around 70 US $) per person: this will include morning and after-noon tea-break, lunch on the day-trip of August 3rd, and the participation to the different receptions planed during the week of conference.

Top

Day-tour during the Conference

A trip in the interior of the Grande Terre (Main Island) and to the north-east coast is planed on August 3rd, with a reception by the Baye tribe, where excavations took place in 1952. On the way we will visit a pre-colonial Kanak dwelling site and old horticultural structures (taro pondfields, raised jamfields) along the Tiwaka river. A tour to the Tchamba plains is planed (depending on the weather). Expenses of the tour (transport, beverages, food) are supplied by the organisers.

During the return-trip to Noumea Sunday 4th of August, various stops are planed (petroglyphs, historical site). Participants are expected to pay for his lunch.

Top

Post-conference tour

For interested people, a 3 days tour is proposed in the Loyalty Islands August 8-9-10th, at participants expenses. The preliminary program (to be completed depending on the final number registered), includes a visit of Maré Island (megalithic fortifications, Lapita sites, traditional sites, Cultural Centre) and of Lifou Island (Rock-shelters, prehistoric burial sites, Lapita sites). We ask all interested people to let us know immediately, in order to complete the program in relation to the number of participants, and to give a final cost.

Top

Final publication

The papers from the theme « Assessments of 50 years of Pacific Archaeology » will be published in a synthesis volume with a regional editor : contacts are underway with different publishers. The final publication of the papers presented in the two other themes is planed for 2003. More detailed information will appear in the next announcements.

Top

Other points

The prices given in US $ are indicative, as money value fluctuates. Most of the international bank cards can be used in New Caledonia, and delivery-machines are found in Noumea and Koné.

August is the coldest month of the winter, and New Caledonia being located just south of the Capricorn tropic, nights can be cold (specially in Koné) and some days rainy. There is no Malaria in the Archipelago. The average temperature is 25° centigrade during the day. Plan to bring adapted clothes.

Do no hesitate to contact us for any question (transport, accommodation, food etc.), we will try to answer you as rapidly as possible. This announcement can be widely circulated. Consult and give the address of our Web-sites opened for the Conference:
 
http://www.lapita.org/2002/fr/

http://www.lapita.org/2002/en/

Top

PRELIMINARY PROGRAM

pdf

rtf

Top
Registration Form

pdf

Word doc

Top
¤