Oceania is the most linguistically and culturally diverse region of the globe,
with over 1500 languages, or around 20% of the world’s linguistic diversity, shared among just 0.5% of its population.
What was the genesis of this extraordinary diversity, and what is the significance of diversity in today’s world?
The central aim of the Evolution of Cultural Diversity Initiative (ECDI) is to understand the drivers and processes underpinning cultural evolution and diversification in Oceania across the full span of human history, from first settlement some 60,000 years ago through to the present day. The partial accounts of these drivers and processes offered by individual disciplines – including archaeology, linguistics, history, anthropology, ecology, genetics, ontogeny and philosophy of science – will be integrated to generate a more subtle and powerful understanding of the region’s past and present.