Public lecture: Potsherds, stones, and human bones

I will be presenting aspects of my current research this Friday 30 June from 7pm at Das Zentrum Australian-German Institute Inc., Level 1, Griffin Centre, 20 Genge St, Canberra City. Full title and abstract below; all welcome.

Potsherds, stones, and human bones: German-speaking archaeologists in the Pacific and their legacy

Early European visitors to the Pacific were fascinated by its vast expanses of ocean, its scattered islands and the diverse cultures of its inhabitants. Who were these people? Where did they come from? When and how did they first reach the Pacific? German-speaking explorers, travellers and missionaries contributed to these debates by recording local oral traditions, describing megalithic sites and prehistoric artefacts, and conducting archaeological excavations. I highlight some of their major contributions to Pacific archaeology, and discuss one of their most controversial legacies: the acquisition of human remains.

Image credit: The prehistoric Micronesian city of Nan Madol, Dr. James P. McVey, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sea Grant Program, March 1971.

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