18 Oct 2011

New Lapita cemetery discovered in Vanuatu

6:51 pm on 18 October 2011

Archeologists are excited about finding a second Lapita cemetery in Vanuatu.

The Lapita people are believed to be the region's first settlers, having arrived about 3,000 years ago.

An Australian National University archeologist, Dr Stuart Bedford, has been studying Lapita sites in Vanuatu for over a decade, and says the find on Uripiv island near Malekula is significant.

"Well this is the further discovery of another cemetery so hugely important. And interestingly slightly later, just a generation or two later so we are able to compare burial ritual and the health of the population several generations down the track so a truly wonderful find."

Dr Stuart Bedford.