Definition of Lapita in English:

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Pronunciation: /laˈpiːtə/


[usually as modifier] Archaeology
A prehistoric Oceanic culture centred on Melanesia, dated to about circa 1500–500 bc. It is characterized by pottery distinctively stamped with a toothed instrument.
Example sentences
  • Most scholars attribute the resurgence in settlement to a people they call the Lapita, after an archaeological site in New Caledonia.
  • The Lapita left no archaeological evidence of their presence in New Zealand, Holdaway argues, simply because their visits to such southern latitudes were so transient.
  • The Lapita and later Polynesian people carried the rats everywhere they traveled, according to Matisoo-Smith.


1960s: from the name of a site in New Caledonia.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: La¦pita

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