Rapid emergence of the Archaic Tongan state: The royal tomb Paepaeotelea

Geoffrey Clark, Christian Reepmeyer, Nivaleti Melekiola

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    New research indicates that the royal tomb Paepaeotelea was built c. AD 1300–1400, more than 200 years earlier than its traditional association with Uluakimata I, who ruled when the Tongan polity was at its greatest extent. The large and stylistically complex tomb marks a dramatic increase in the scale of mortuary structures. It represents a substantial mobilisation of labour by this early archaic state, while the geochemical signatures of stone tools associated with the tomb indicate long-distance voyaging. The evidence suggests that the early Tongan state was a powerful and geographically expansive entity, able to rapidly organise and command the resources of the scattered archipelago.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1038-1053
    Issue number352
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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