New radiocarbon ages of colonization sites in East Polynesia

Atholl Anderson, Yosikiko Sinoto

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The archaeological chronology of initial human colonization in East Polynesia has relied substantially upon radiocarbon dating results from a small number of sites in the central region, notably Motu Paeao cemetery (Maupiti) and Vaito'otia-Fa'ahia (Huahine) in the Society Islands, and Hane (Ua Huka) and Ha'atuatua (Nuku Hiva) in the Marquesas Islands. Recent field research and new radiocarbon dates showed that Ha'atautua and Motu Paeao were occupied significantly later than had been suggested by earlier results. We now report the results of new radiocarbon dating on the remaining two sites. Leaving aside questionable results on bone and wood samples, six shell samples from Vaito'otia-Fa'ahia indicate occupation in the period A.D. 1050-1450. Five shell and five charcoal samples from Hane indicate that occupation did not begin earlier than about A.D. 1000. Taken together with other recent research on the chronology of initial colonization in East Polynesia we suggest that habitation did not begin until A.D. 900 or later.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)242-257
    JournalAsian Perspectives
    Volume41
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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