Peter J. Sheppard

Peter J. Sheppard
University of Auckland · Department of Anthropology

About

90
Publications
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1,907
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Additional affiliations
June 1988 - present
University of Auckland
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (90)
Article
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Geological analysis was conducted on a stone adze, which was accidentally dug up from an intertidal dredging site on a reef flat in Pohnpei Island, Micronesia in the 1980s. Detailed geological observations identified the material as metamorphic rock (schist), not basalt as originally reported. This result places its source in the continental rocks...
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Compositional analyses have long been used to determine the geological sources of artefacts. Geochemical "fingerprinting" of artefacts and sources is the most effective way to reconstruct strategies of raw material and artefact procurement, exchange or interaction systems, and mobility patterns during prehistory. The efficacy and popularity of geoc...
Article
Ethan E. Cochrane & Terry L. Hunt. 2018. The Oxford handbook of prehistoric Oceania. New York: Oxford University Press; 978-0-19-992507-0 £97. - Volume 93 Issue 368 - Peter J. Sheppard
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en Two recent papers, by Lipson et al. and Posth et al., have challenged current interpretations of the initial settlement of Remote Oceania. We invited Stuart Bedford, who is an author on both papers, to outline their importance, and a number of scholars in various disciplines to comment on their findings. RÉSUMÉ fr Deux articles récents, par Lip...
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A use-wear and residue study of 56 retouched obsidian flakes from seven Lapita sites in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu confirms that they had been used for tattooing. These specialised tools all bear one or more very small points formed by alternating retouch. A detailed comparison of use traces and pigments on these and 19 addition...
Article
Although tattoos have been observed on mummies dated to over 5000 years old, the generally poor preservation of human remains makes it difficult to use this type of adornment to understand how inscriptions on the body have been used to define self and social ascriptions. A potential method for detecting tattooing is to identify the tools used to ma...
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The Cook Islands are considered the “gateway” for human colonization of East Polynesia, the final chapter of Oceanic settlement and the last major region occupied on Earth. Indeed, East Polynesia witnessed the culmination of the greatest maritime migration in human history. Perennial debates have critiqued whether Oceanic settlement was purposeful...
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Understanding the nature and process of initial Pacific settlement by people carrying the Lapita culture is ultimately founded upon accurate knowledge of the timing and speed of settlement. This paper reports on re-dating of one of the earliest Lapita sites (SE-SZ-8) from Santa Cruz in the Temotu Province of the Solomon Islands on the western margi...
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The study of interaction and exchange among different geographic areas in the Western Pacific occupied by Lapita people (3500-2500 BP) has been an important component of research into the colonization process of the Pacific region. The Western Solomon Islands, lying in the central area of the Lapita distribution, have a unique archaeological record...
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We report on the provenance of an adze from the Cook Islands that was previously geochemically analysed by Sheppard, Walter and Parker (1997) but could not be assigned a source at that time because of the paucity of reference data. Drawing on basalt characterisation studies from the last two decades, we can now demonstrate that the adze most likely...
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One of the striking characteristics of Lapita archaeology during the past century has been the very limited number of preserved whole or nearly whole pots found in excavations. This appears odd for ceramics mostly interpreted in the scientific literature as non-utilitarian and carrying social or ritual symbolism. The clear connection between dentat...
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Through use of methodology common in sedimentary geology, we apply U–Pb ages of detrital zircons to source nonlocal temper sand in an ancient ceramic assemblage recovered from Roviana Lagoon of the New Georgia Group in the Solomon Islands. Most potsherds from the Roviana Lagoon contain local volcanic sand as temper, but a small number of sherds con...
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The article presents results of an obsidian sourcing study on artifacts from Tonga and Fiji. New LA-ICPMS data on obsidian source locations on Tafahi in northern Tonga are discussed in relation to inter-island mobility during two important phases in the Central Pacific: the late-Lapita phase in Fiji-West Polynesia at 2700–2600 cal. BP and during th...
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The Lapita colonization of Remote Oceania involved rapid expansion from New Guinea across one-tenth of the circumference of the earth. Implicit in most discussions of this phenomenon is a standard wave-of-advance model founded on demographic growth and the economic advantage provided by food production. The Lapita movement is also routinely embedde...
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A provenance study of volcanic glass specimens from 12 archaeological sites in the Kingdom of Tonga is carried out employing pXRF (portable X-ray fluorescence) analysis. To accomplish this, volcanic glass samples from previously identified sources in northern Tonga and the adjacent islands of Samoa are analyzed. Results indicate inter-island voyagi...
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The dearth of archaeomagnetic intensity data from the southern hemisphere is a limiting factor in evaluating models of global geomagnetic field evolution during the Holocene. Here we present high quality microwave archaeointensity data obtained from 34 ceramic fragments (21 archaeological contexts) from the Duke of York Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu, S...
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The use of portable XRF analysis to characterise the geochemistry of Pacific obsidians is reported. Obsidian source samples from New Britain, the Admiralties, Fergusson Island and the Banks Islands were successfully characterised and then used to source 966 samples of obsidian from three (SE=SZ-8, SE-RF-2, SE-RF-6) Reef/Santa Cruz Lapita sites. The...
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Obsidian hydration dating is a widely used method of determining the age of flaked obsidian by measuring the thickness of the hydration rind on a sample. All obsidian absorbs water into its surface. The depth of the hydrated layer is a function of obsidian chemistry, temperature and time. Recent research has made this method much more reliable and...
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We present a new archaeointensity dataset obtained from an outstanding collection of ceramics with well-dated contexts (AMS radiocarbon) from the SW Pacific comprising a time period from 1000 BC to 1500 AD. Forty individual potsherds from Lakeba (Fiji Lau Group 18.2°S, 178.8E), 62 from Vanuatu (17.5°S, 168.2°E) and eight from Duke of York Islands (...
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The goal of this study is to establish the first archaeomagnetic record for the SW Pacific for the last few millennia using an outstanding collection of well-dated archaeological ceramics from a wide region, namely: 1. Bismarks-Northern Solomons 3500-0 BP, 2. Western Solomons 2000-0 BP, 3. Southeast Solomons 3100- 2000 BP, 4. Vanuatu 3100-700 BP, 5...
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The SE-SZ-8 site of Nanggu is a large Lapita site in the Reef/Santa Cruz group of the Southeast Solomon Islands. This paper provides a detailed discussion of its geomorphological and environmental context on Santa Cruz and the within site position of four marine shell dates from it, followed by a Bayesian analysis of the radiocarbon dating of the s...
Chapter
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Archaeology in Melanesia and PolynesiaRoviana: People, Place, and HistoryThe Archaeological RecordLate Prehistory and the Growth of the Roviana ChiefdomConclusions References
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It is necessary to calculate location-specific marine ΔR values in order to calibrate marine samples using calibration curves such as those provided through the IntCal98 (Stuiver et al. 1998) data. Where known-age samples are available, this calculation is straightforward (i.e. Stuiver et al. 1986). In the case that a paired marine/terrestrial samp...
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From 1984 through 1989, we undertook a program of interdisciplinary research on the "Archaeology and Human Biology of the Mesolithic- -Neolithic Transition in Portugal", funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Some of the work done on human skeletal collections has been published (e.g., Jackes and Lubell, 19...
Article
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It is necessary to calculate location-specific marine ΔR values in order to calibrate marine samples using calibration curves such as those provided through the IntCal98 (Stuiver et al. 1998) data. Where known-age samples are available, this calculation is straightforward (i.e. Stuiver et al. 1986). In the case that a paired marine/terrestrial samp...
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The use of oral tradition or oral history in archaeology is often a contentious issue. In this paper we briefly review methodological issues surrounding the use of such data and follow this with a case study using our research into the last 1,000 years of prehistory in Roviana Lagoon (New Georgia Group, Solomon Islands). We argue that it is not pos...
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Mortuary architecture and ritual assemblages have played a central role in archaeological inquiry since the discipline began. Most recently they have featured in the archaeology of social organization where variations in scale and value of the objects concerned are seen as reflections of religion, ideology, ethics or politics. This study looks at t...
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Using ethnohistorical, ethnographical, historical, and archaeological evidence, this article reconstructs the development of exchange systems in Roviana, Solomon Islands, and explores their long-term transformation. It suggests that a Roviana system of multiple coexisting standards of valuation of goods and services gained preeminence in precolonia...
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Pollen data are presented from Mayor Island, Bay of Plenty. The island was important in prehistory as a source of obsidian (Seelenfreund, A., Bollong, C., 1989. The sourcing of New Zealand obsidian artefacts using energy dispersive XRF Spectroscopy. In: D. Sutton (Editor), Saying So Doesn't Make It So: Papers in honour of B. Foss Leach. New Zealand...
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This article considers the interplay between the bodily experience of landscape and the formation of sociality. We investigate the social experiences of landscape in nineteenth-century Roviana Lagoon in the Solomon Islands, dealing specifically with the ritualized architecture of a fortification on Nusa Roviana Island. Drawing on oral tradition and...
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The Lapita Cultural Complex marks the first archaeological presence of human groups in the region of Remote Oceania, east of the main Solomon Islands. The spread of Austronesian seafaring communities from the Bismarck archipelago (Island Papua New Guinea) to the remote islands of Western Polynesia between 3300–2850 BP, has been characterised archae...
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When European traders started to expand their economic activities in the Solomon Islands in the early 19th century, they found indigenous groups already engaged in long-distance exchange. Amongst the most powerful of these were the Roviana chiefs whose bases were situated on the shores and offshore islets of Roviana Lagoon on the island of New Geor...
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Cet article rend compte d'une mission de reconnaissance archéologique dans le lagon de Roviana par une équipe de l'université d'Auckland, du Musée national (îles Salomon) et du Ministère de la Culture (Province de l'Ouest, îles Salomon). Ce travail a permis la découverte de nombreux sites intertidals dans le lagon avec de la poterie incisée rectili...
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This paper presents recent experimental results from the obsidian hydration dating research programme conducted at the Centre for Archaeological Research (CAR), Auckland University. Two elements of the essential hydration rate component are examined. First, the influence of potentially significant environmental variables other than ambient temperat...
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Les ceramiques mises au jour sur le site d'Aoa (ile Tutuila, Samoa) semblent dater de 1000 ans d'apres l'abandon presume de la poterie en Polynesie occidentale. Les auteurs rapportent ici les resultats d'un test visant a verifier la probabilite d'une existence plus tardive de la ceramique, grâce a l'utilisation de la methode de mesures par hydratat...
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The results of a year-long soil temperature monitoring programme are presented. They increase understanding of the magnitude, spatial scale and predictability of variation in soil temperature regimes which affect obsidian hydration dating. It is demonstrated that current archaeological temperature estimation methods, either due to design or applica...
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This paper reports on the characterisation, using thin section petrography and Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis, of cherts recovered from Pleistocene sites (Bone Cave, Warreen, Pulawa Trounta and Nunamira) located in the interior of Southwest Tasmania. The results indicate use of one major chert source area and fit a simple distance fall-of...
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This paper reviews data on technological change in the manufacture of stone tools from the Earlier Stone Age (ESA) to Middle Stone Age (MSA including Sangoan) deposits at Site A, Kalambo Falls, Zambia. Data on flake and tool morphology, dimensions, and raw material are discussed It is concluded that there is little change, at this site, in the basi...
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Abstract Both morphology and ethnohistory suggest that the adzes in the Ngati Tiare cache (Rarotonga, Southern Cook Islands) are derived from Samoa. If true, this is further documentation of post-colonisation contact between West and East Polynesia, regions which were generally throught to have remined isolated from one another following human sett...
Article
Newly developed methods and calibrations for determining the age of flaked obsidian surfaces have been described and applied to New Zealand archaeological obsidians. Hydration bands were measured under high magnification (1000 ×) using a MOCHA imaging system to an accuracy of 0 ·2 μm. Hydration rates were calculated on the basis of obsidian water c...
Article
Two geographic information system (GIS) techniques for displaying, analyzing, and interpreting geophysical data were recently applied at two archaeological sites in northern New Zealand; a pre-European Maori pa (fortification), and a late nineteenth-century European fortification. A GIS was used to stretch and filter the conductivity data from the...
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An analysis of the obsidian and chert flaked stone assemblages from three Reefs/Santa Cruz Lapita sites (SE-SZ-8, SE-RF-2, SE-RF-6) is presented. Data on extraction, transport, core reduction, tool use and deposition are examined to see how well they fit a resource maximization model. It is concluded that factors other than utilitarian resource max...
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Weathering of chert artifacts from three Lapita sites (ca. 3000–2000 B.P.) in the Southeast Solomons is examined. It is shown that the rate of weathering is strongly influenced by soil pH, mineralogy, and prehistoric burning of the material. The concentrations of some major elements (Na, Cl, K, Al) are shown to have been altered during the weatheri...
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Data on the spatial distribution of features, pottery, lithic materials, fishbones and shellfish are used to examine spatial organization in the SE-RF-2 Lapita site (Reef Islands, Southeast Solomons). It is shown that the site is at most a small hamlet and consisted of a large rectilinear central structure with an adjacent cooking area. It is argue...
Chapter
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Lithic artifacts from Portugal were analyzed by rapid instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Concentrations of 15 short-lived isotope-producing elements were determined in both archaeological and geological samples. The archaeochemical objectives were the identification and source determination of materials used in prehistoric stone tool...