22 Oct 2004

Pottery find in Fiji excites experts

2:19 pm on 22 October 2004

The discovery in Fiji of a piece of Lapita pottery with a raised face design is causing great excitement in archaeological circles.

The pottery was found in the Natadola Beach area in the southwest of Viti Levu, at an archaeological site which is thought to be more than 3-thousand, two-hundred years old.

Fiji is the only place the raised-face design has been found, apart from the birthplace of the Lapita people, in the Bismarck Archipelago in Papua New Guinea.

Patrick Nunn of the University of the South Pacific says that is highly significant.

"The obvious implication of discovering this three-dimensional pot decoration here in Fiji is that the people who settled this particular site near Natadola may well have come directly from the Lapita heartland in the Bismarck archipelago which is a jorney of more than three-thousand kilometres."

Dr Patrick Nunn.