Exposition permanenteMusée MaritimeThe golden age of sea travel

Earliest settlement in New Caledonia

Temporary Exhibition from August 26 to October 8 2017

The word Lapita originally came from the name "Xapetaa", a site near Koné, on the West coast of New Caledonia. It primarily defined a ceramic tradition that appeared dramatically around 1350 BCE in the Bismarck Archipelago and featured complex geometric and anthromorphic dotted decorations on pottery of unusual shapes.

Around 1250 BCE, keepers of the Lapita tradition, at that point of mixed parentage with pre-Austronesian groups of the Bismarck Archipelago, left Northern Melanesia to reach the boundary of known lands, South of The Solomon Islands, close to Oceania.

Probably driven by a strong tradition of maritime explorations, they were the first to seek out unknown areas of the Southwest Pacific, after 200 miles of sailing eastwards, they discovered the Reef and Santa-Cruz Islands, first untapped lands of a great region, which would later be defined as Remote Oceania.