Dr Stuart Bedford, BA and MA (Auckland), PhD (ANU)
ARC QEII Fellow, School of Culture, History & Language
The fieldwork focus of my research over the last ten years has been the islands of Vanuatu, in the southwestern Pacific. Research issues that have been addressed at both a local and regional level have included origins, timing and strategies of colonisation, settlement pattern, levels of social interaction, cultural transformation, environmental impact and human responses to natural disasters. Other areas of interest include the archaeologies of Empire, Colonialism and Contact.
My current research revolves around an ARC funded project titled "Persistence and transformation in Ancestral Oceanic Society: the archaeology of the first 1500 years in the Vanuatu archipelago". It involves a series of large-area excavations being conducted at a number of key Lapita and immediately Post-Lapita (dating to between 3000-1500 years ago) settlements and cemeteries across the archipelago over five years (2008-2012); see the ANH Current Projects page for more information. The aim is to examine the internal settlement layout and social structures of the initial colonising groups, and their transformations and/or persistence during the first 1500 years of settlement of Vanuatu. In this way archaeology will contribute to further elucidation of what has been labelled Ancestral Oceanic Society, from which much of the diversity in present-day Pacific Island cultures derives. I am currently supervising one PhD student and have another PhD student starting in 2009.
- Bedford, S., C. Sand and S. Connaughton (eds), 2007. Oceanic Explorations: Lapita and Western Pacific Settlement. Terra Australis 26. ANH. Canberra: ANU E-Press. (http://epress.anu.edu.au/ta26_citation.html).
- Bedford, S., 2006. Pieces of the Vanuatu Puzzle: Archaeology of the North, South and Centre. Terra Australis 23, 326pp. Canberra: Pandanus Press, RSPAS, Australian National University. (http://epress.anu.edu.au/ta23_citation.html).
- Bedford S, M. Spriggs, H. Buckley, F. Valentin and R. Regenvanu (in press). The Teouma Lapita site, South Efate, Vanuatu: a summary of three field seasons (2004-2006). In P. Sheppard, T. Thomas and G. Summerhayes (eds), Lapita Conference 2007, Honiara. New Zealand Archaeological Association Monograph Series.
- Bedford, S and M. Spriggs, 2008. Northern Vanuatu as a Pacific Crossroads: the Archaeology of Discovery, Interaction and the Emergence of the 'Ethnographic present'. Asian Perspectives 47:95-120.
- Bedford, S. 2007. Crucial first steps into Remote Oceania: Lapita in the Vanuatu archipelago, pp. 185-213. In S. Chiu and C. Sand (eds), From Southeast Asia to the Pacific. Archaeological Perspectives on the Austronesian Expansion and the Lapita Cultural Complex. Taipei: Academia Sinica.
- Bedford, S and M. Spriggs, 2007. Birds on the rim: a Unique Lapita carinated vessel in its wider context. Archaeology in Oceania 42:12-21.
- Bedford, S., 2006. The Pacific's earliest painted pottery: an added layer of intrigue to the Lapita debate and beyond. Antiquity 80:544-557.
- Bedford, S., M. Spriggs and R. Regenvanu. 2006. The Teouma Lapita site and the early human settlement of the Pacific Islands. Antiquity 80:812-828.
- Bedford, S. 2004. Aotearoa and Ancestral Polynesian Connections: The Long Trek from Otto Meyer to the Lapita Ceramic Series, Cultural Complex and Beyond, pp. 283-296. In L. Furey and S. Holdaway (eds), Change Through Time. 50 years of New Zealand Archaeology. Auckland: New Zealand Archaeological Association Monograph 26.
- Bedford, S. 2003. The timing and nature of Lapita colonisation in Vanuatu: the haze begins to clear. In C. Sand (ed), Pacific Archaeology: assessments and prospects, pp. 147-158. Noumea: Les Cahiers de l'archeologie en Nouvelle-Calédonie 15.
Archaeologist, Clutha Valley Development Scheme, Central Otago, New Zealand (1982-1985); archaeologist, London Museum, London 1988-1990; Regional Archaeologist New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Auckland New Zealand (2000-2005); ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2005-2007); ARC QEII Fellow (2008-2012).