On Tongatapu Island stone structures were used by senior chiefly lines to manifest title and lineage status. Stone slabs were used to demarcate house and sitting platforms, to face the royal tombs of the paramount, set upright as standing stones, and at HeketÄ used to make a unique monumental gateway. Slabs were also used to make stone burial vaults and the material was quarried from coastal locations around Tongatapu and other islands in Tonga. Recent work has increased the number of stone structures recorded in previous archaeological survey. This shows that their distribution is strongly focused on the east of the island where traditional history has the first monumental stonework constructed by the 11th Tuâ€™i Tonga around AD 1250. In addition to describing and classifying stone structures that incorporate quarried slabs of carbonate stone, we show that the distribution of stone architecture is primarily associated with the central places of the Tuâ€™i Tonga and high-ranking leadership demonstrating that stone architecture held an important role in manifesting political authority in the Tongan state.
|Title of host publication||Networks and Monumentality in the Pacific. Proceedings of the XVIII UISPP World Congress (4-9 June 2018, Paris, France) Volume 7, Session XXXVIII|
|Editors||Aymeric Hermann, Frédérique Valentin, Christophe Sand and Emilie Nolet|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||Archaeopress Publishing Ltd|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|