On the Road of the Winds An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands Before European Contact

ISBN-10: 0520234618

ISBN-13: 9780520234611

Edition: 2002

List price: $41.95 Buy it from $24.66
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Description:

The Pacific Ocean covers one-third of the earth's surface and encompasses many thousands of islands, the home to numerous human societies and cultures. Among these indigenous Oceanic cultures are the intrepid Polynesian double-hulled canoe navigators, the atoll dwellers of Micronesia, the statue carvers of remote Easter Island, and the famed traders of Melanesia. Recent archaeological excavations, combined with allied research in historical linguistics, biological anthropology, and comparative ethnography, have begun to reveal much new information about the long-term history of these Pacific Island societies and cultures.On the Road of the Windssynthesizes the grand sweep of human history in the Pacific Islands, beginning with the movement of early people out from Asia more than 40,000 years ago, and tracing the development of myriad indigenous cultures up to the time of European contact in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Questions that scholars have posed and puzzled over for two centuries or more are illuminated here: Where did the Pacific Islanders come from? How did they discover and settle the thousands of islands? Why did they build great monuments like Nan Madol on Pohnpei Island in Micronesia or the famous Easter Island statues? This book provides an up-to-date synthesis of archaeological and historical anthropological knowledge of these fascinating indigenous cultures. In particular, Kirch focuses on human ecology and island adaptations, the complexities of island trading and exchange systems, voyaging technology and skills, and the development of intensive economic systems linked to the growth of large populations. He also draws on his own original field research conducted on many islands, ranging from the Solomons to Hawai'i, as he takes us on an intellectual voyage into the Oceanic past.
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Book details

List price: $41.95
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 3/15/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 446
Size: 7.75" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 2.684
Language: English

List of Maps
List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Introduction
Defining Oceania
Linguistic, Human Biological, and Cultural Variation in Oceania
About This Book
A Note on Dates and Time
Discovering the Oceanic Past
Enlightenment Voyagers
Outposts of Empire: Missionaries, Colonists, and Academic Beginnings
"The Problem of Polynesian Origins"
Te Rangi Hiroa and the "Micronesian Route" to Polynesia
The Discovery of Time Depth and Culture Change
The Search for Polynesian Sequences
Broadening Research Horizons
Beyond Polynesia: Archaeology in Melanesia and New Guinea
Not an Ivory Tower: Public Archaeology in the Pacific
Contemporary Approaches to Pacific Prehistory
The Pacific Islands as a Human Environment
Origins and Development of Pacific Islands
Types of Islands
Climatic Factors in the Pacific
Island Life and Biogeography
The Microbiotic World and Human Populations
Island Ecosystems
Human Impacts on Island Ecosystems
Sahul and the Prehistory of "Old" Melanesia
The Pleistocene Geography of Sahul and Near Oceania
Initial Human Arrival in Sabul and Near Oceania
Pleistocene Voyaging in Near Oceania
Near Oceania during the Pleistocene
Cultural Innovations of the Early Holocene
A Paradox and a Hypothesis
Lapita and the Austronesian Expansion
The Human Landscape of Near Oceania at 2000-1500 B.C.
The Advent of Lapita
Lapita Origins: The Austronesian Expansion
Lapita Dispersal into Remote Oceania
Lapita in Linguistic and Biological Perspective
The Lapita Ceramic Series
Lapita Sites and Settlements
Lapita Subsistence Economies
Exchange among Lapita Communities
Ancestral Oceanic Societies
Lapita: Transformations and Legacy
The Prehistory of "New" Melanesia
Trading Societies of Papua and the Massim
The Late Holocene in Highland New Guinea
The Bismarck Archipelago after Lapita
The Solomon Islands
Vanuatu
The Polynesian Outliers in Melanesia
Ethnogenesis in La Grande Terre
Fiji: An Archipelago "in Between"
Summary
Micronesia: In the "Sea of Little Lands"
Colonization and Early Settlement in Micronesia
Cultural Sequences in Micronesia
Tuvalu and the Polynesian Outliers in Micronesia
Atoll Adaptations
Later Prehistory in Western Micronesia
Development of Sociopolitical Complexity in the Caroline High Islands
Polynesia: Origins and Dispersals
Polynesian Origins
Polynesia as a Phyletic Unit
Ancestral Polynesia
Cultural Sequences in Western Polynesia
The Settlement of Eastern Polynesia
The Polynesian Chiefdoms
Polynesian Chiefdoms: Ethnographic Background and Anthropological Significance
Sociopolitical Transformation in the Open Societies
The Emergence of Stratified Chiefdoms
Summary
Big Structures and Large Processes in Oceanic Prehistory
Voyaging and the Human "Conquest" of the Pacific
History Written in the Present: Correlations between Language, Biology, and Culture
The Role of Demographic Change in Oceanic History
Oceanic Populations on the Eve of European Contact
The Political Economy of Dynamic Landscapes
Intensification and Specialization in Island Economies
Transformations of Status and Power
On Comparison: A Closing Comment
Notes
References
Index
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