Theory in the Pacific, the Pacific in Theory explores the role of theory in Pacific archaeology and its interplay with archaeological theory worldwide.
The contributors assess how the practice of archaeology in Pacific contexts has led to particular types of theoretical enquiry and interest, and, more broadly, how the Pacific is conceptualised in the archaeological imagination. Long seen as a laboratory environment for the testing and refinement of social theory, the Pacific islands occupy a central place in global theoretical discourse. This volume highlights this role through an exploration of how Pacific models and exemplars have shaped, and continue to shape, approaches to the archaeological past. The authors evaluate key theoretical perspectives and explore current and future directions in Pacific archaeology. In doing so, attention is paid to the influence of Pacific people and environments in motivating and shaping theory-building.
Theory in the Pacific, the Pacific in Theory makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how theory develops attuned to the affordances and needs of specific contexts, and how those contexts promote reformulation and development of theory elsewhere. It will be fascinating to scholars and archaeologists interested in the Pacific region, as well as students of wider archaeological theory.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Contributors
1 Theory in the Pacific, and the Pacific in theory
2 Theory beyond the calm ocean? The Pacific contribution to global island archaeology
Thomas P. Leppard and Scott M. Fitzpatrick
3 Pacific island archaeology and evolutionary theory
Ethan E. Cochrane
4 Controlled comparison and the phylogenetic model in Polynesian culture history
Patrick V. Kirch
5 Pacific ethnography, archaeology, and the pattern of global prehistoric social life
6 Preceramic shell-working, Caution Bay and the Circum-New Guinea Archipelago
Katherine Szabó, Bruno David, Ian J. McNiven, and Matthew Leavesley
7 Pacific colonisation as process and practice
8 The political economy of prestige practices in the Pacific: understanding Lapita and after
9 Anarchist theory in the Pacific and 'Pacific anarchists' in archaeological thought
James L. Flexner
10 Opening discursive space: New Guinea’s contribution to the history of early agriculture
11 Settlement patterns and networks: secondary centres and elite ritual-political power in the Society Islands chiefdoms
Jennifer G. Kahn
12 Gender archaeology in Polynesia: past, present, and future
Cynthia L. Van Gilder
13 Entangled histories: oral history and archaeology in the Pacific
Peter J. Sheppard
14 Taking indigenous theory seriously: whakapapa and chevron pendants
Tim Thomas is Senior Lecturer in the Archaeology programme at the University of Otago, New Zealand, specialising in the archaeological landscapes and material culture of the Solomon Islands, and longer-term processes of Pacific colonisation. A past editor of the Journal of Pacific Archaeology, his previous books include Lapita: Ancestors and Descendants (2009) and Monuments and People in the Pacific (2014).