Recent Advances in the Archaeology of the Pacific Ocean

Ohio State University

The Pacific has witnessed some of the largest migrations in human history, beginning with the first movements of modern humans into the Western Pacific during the late Pleistocene, through to the long-distance sea voyages of Austronesian-speaking populations in the late Holocene who colonised the wider Pacific. These movements have caused substantial environmental and cultural change as people learned how to adapt to or modify new environments and their resources. In some cases in the Western Pacific, encounters with indigenous populations would have occurred prior to the movement out into more remote parts of the Pacific, where cultural landscapes were transported onto previously uninhabited islands. Beyond these large-scale migrations, ongoing social interactions, adaptations, and population movements contributed to the Pacific becoming one of the most diverse cultural landscapes on the planet. The panel participants will discuss the latest research on a range of topics with a regional focus on the Pacific Ocean.