Recent Recoveries of Archaeological Ceramics on Santa Isabel, Central Solomon Islands


  • Melissa Jane Carter
  • David Roe
  • John Keopo


Recent field investigations on Santa Isabel (Isabel) in the Central Solomon Islands have revealed the presence of archaeological pottery in both terrestrial and intertidal contexts. Preliminary dating results and comparative stylistic analyses of sherds provide evidence to suggest an antiquity of ceramics in northwest (NW) Isabel spanning the late Holocene to the recent historic past. These research outcomes expand the known distribution of pottery within the Solomon Islands and provide new knowledge about the prehistory of Santa Isabel. Here we describe the Santa Isabel ceramics, and suggest several implications of the research for current settlement models of the Solomon Islands and for our understanding of the variability in the archaeological record of mid- to late-Holocene ceramic distribution throughout the region.

Author Biography

Melissa Jane Carter

Melissa specialises in the late-Holocene coastal archaeology of Australia, Torres Strait and the western Pacific, with interests in archaeomalacology and the ethnoarchaeology of marine subsistence practices. Her current post-doctoral research on northwestern Santa Isabel in the Solomon Islands addresses broad archaeological questions about the timing and nature of human settlement, as well as the emergence of late pre-colonial cultural complexes documented elsewhere in the Solomons Archipelago and Island Melanesia. Melissa is also undertaking ethnoarchaeological investigations of contemporary marine shellfishing and recording traditional ecological knowledge associated with marine resources and habitats.




How to Cite

Carter, M. J., Roe, D. and Keopo, J. (2012) “Recent Recoveries of Archaeological Ceramics on Santa Isabel, Central Solomon Islands”, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 3(2), pp. 62–68. Available at: (Accessed: 30 November 2022).



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