Island Societies: Archaeological Approaches to Evolution and Transformation

Island Societies: Archaeological Approaches to Evolution and Transformation

by Patrick Vinton Kirch (Editor)


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Concentrating their attention on the Pacific Islands, the contributors to this book show how the tightly focused social and economic systems of islands offer archaeologists a series of unique opportunities for tracking and explaining prehistoric change. From the 1950s onwards, excavations in such islands as Fiji, Palau and Hawaii revolutionised Oceanic archaeology and, as the major problems of cultural origins and island sequences were resolves, archaeologists came increasingly to study social change and to integrate newly acquired data on material culture with older ethnographic and ethnohistorical materials. The fascinating results of this work, centring on the evolution of complex Oceanic chiefdoms into something very much like classic 'archaic states', are authoritatively surveyed here.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521105439
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/19/2009
Series: New Directions in Archaeology
Pages: 108
Product dimensions: 8.27(w) x 10.98(h) x 0.24(d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: the archaeology of island societies Patrick V. Kirch; 2. Landscape, land use and political transformation in southern Melanesia Matthew Spriggs; 3. Conceptual and substantive issues in Fijian prehistory Terry L. Hunt; 4. Exchange systems and inter-island contact in the transformation of an island society: the Tikopia case Patrick V. Kirch; 5. The role of competition and cooperation in the evolution of island societies George J. Gumerman; 6. Some basic components of the Ancestral Polynesian settlement system: building blocks for more complex Polynesian societies R. C. Green; 7. Social evolution in ancient Hawaii Robert J. Hommon; 8. The socio-political structure of the southern coastal area of Easter Island: AD 1300–1864 Christopher M. Stevenson; 9. Turtles, priests and the afterworld: a study in the iconographic interpretation of Polynesian petroglyphs Barry Rolett; References; Index.

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