Definition of Lapita in English:

Lapita

noun

Archaeology
  • [usually as modifier] A prehistoric Oceanic culture centred on Melanesia, dated to about c.1500–500 bc. It is characterized by pottery distinctively stamped with a toothed instrument.

    • ‘Most scholars attribute the resurgence in settlement to a people they call the Lapita, after an archaeological site in New Caledonia.’
    • ‘The Lapita left no archaeological evidence of their presence in New Zealand, Holdaway argues, simply because their visits to such southern latitudes were so transient.’
    • ‘The Lapita and later Polynesian people carried the rats everywhere they traveled, according to Matisoo-Smith.’

Origin

1960s: from the name of a site in New Caledonia.

Pronunciation:

Lapita

/laˈpiːtə/