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Previous Research

The first archaeological research in the Banda Islands was conducted by Peter Lape beginning in 1997. The 1997-98 field seasons included site survey and excavations on three of the islands, Banda Naira, Pulau Ay and Banda Besar and formed the basis of Lape’s PhD dissertation at Brown University. Although some early farming sites were identified in these surveys, the focus of this work was on the late pre-colonial period (1000-1600 AD), the time leading up to the 1621 military invasion by the Dutch East India Company. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation, Earthwatch (which also coordinated volunteer support for the project), Brown University and a Fulbright Fellowship.

After a hiatus of nearly a decade, field research began again in 2007 with a project focused on the early farming period (approx. 3000 BP), including new excavations at the PA1 site on Pulau Ay. This project is directed by Peter Lape (now at University of Washington) and Daud Tanudirjo (Universitas Gadjah Mada) and funded by the National Geographic Society. All work has been conducted with permits from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia-LIPI) the national and Maluku provincial offices of the Indonesia Department of Culture and Tourism (Departemen Kebudayaan dan Parawisata), and in cooperation with Universitas Pattimura, Ambon, Balai Arkaeologi, Ambon and subdistrict and village level governments in Banda, traditional leaders and the residents of the various villages where we have worked in the Banda Islands.


Lape, Peter V.  2006. On the use of archaeology and history in Island Southeast Asia. In Excavating Asian History: Interdisciplinary Studies in Archaeology and History, pp. 278-306, Norman Yoffee and Bradley Crowell, eds., University of Arizona Press.

Lape, Peter V.  2005. Archaeology of Islam in Island Southeast Asia. Antiquity 79: 829-836. pdf

Lape, Peter V.  2004. The isolation metaphor in island archaeology. In The Archaeology of Insularity: Examining the Past in Island Environments, pp. 223-232, Scott Fitzpatrick, ed., Greenwood Press.

Lape, Peter V.  2004. Working with local museums: A case study from Eastern Indonesia. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 23:187-190. pdf

Lape, Peter V.  2003. Theoretical insights from studies of culture contact in eastern Indonesia. Archaeology in Oceania 38: 102-109. pdf

Lape, Peter V.  2002. On the use of archaeology and history in Island Southeast Asia. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 45(4): 468-491. pdf

Lape, Peter V.  2002. Historic maps and archaeology as a means of understanding late pre-colonial settlement in the Banda Islands, Indonesia. Asian Perspectives 41(1): 43-70. pdf

Lape, Peter V.  2000. Political dynamics and religious change in the late pre-colonial Banda Islands. World Archaeology 32(1): 138-155. pdf

Lape, Peter V.  2000. Contact and colonialism in the Banda Islands, Maluku, Indonesia. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 20:48-55.

Lape, Peter V.  2000 Contact and Conflict in the Banda Islands, Eastern Indonesia, 11th-17th Centuries. Ph. D. Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Brown University. (click here to connect to Dissertation Express