The stone adze and obsidian assemblage from the Talasiu site, Kingdom of Tonga

Christian Reepmeyer, Redbird Ferguson, Frederique Valentin, Geoffrey Clark

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Typological and geochemical analyses of stone adzes and other stone tools have played a significant role in identifying directionality of colonisation movements in early migratory events in the Western Pacific. In later phases of Polynesian prehistory, stone adzes are important status goods which show substantial spatial and temporal variation. However, there is a debate when standardisation of form and manufacture appeared, whether it can be seen in earliest populations colonising the Pacific or whether it is a later development. We present in this paper a stone adze and obsidian tool assemblage from an early Ancestral Polynesian Society Talasiu site on Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga. The site shows a wide variety of adze types; however, if raw material origin is taken into account, emerging standardisation in adze form might be detected. We also show that Tongatapu was strongly connected in a network of interaction to islands to the North, particularly Samoa, suggesting that these islands had permanent populations.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalArchaeology in Oceania
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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