Moving on or settling down? Studying the nature of mobility through Lapita pottery from the Anir Islands, Papua New Guinea. In From Field to Museum—Studies from Melanesia in Honour of Robin Torrence, ed. Jim Specht, Val Attenbrow, and Jim Allen
Summerhayes has argued that changes in the mobility of Lapita communities within the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea is reflected in numerous aspects of their pottery assemblages. Such changes are seen most markedly in a reduction in the number of clay and temper combinations over time, which indicates less movement across the landscape to collect clays and tempers for pottery production. This pattern was identified in the Arawe Islands and Mussau Islands, and more tentatively in the Anir Islands of southern New Ireland Province. This research reviews and re-interprets the previous studies of the Anir pottery assemblages through mineralogical and geochemical analyses to test whether the Arawes and Mussau model applies in this region. Previous work upon pottery assemblages from the Tanga islands is also brought into the discussion as a means of comparison and to identify possible exchange relationships between the Anir and Tanga groups.