Islands are ideal case studies for exploring social connectivity, episodes of colonisation, abandonment, and alternating phases of cultural interaction and isolation. Their societies display different attitudes toward the land and the sea, which in turn cast light on group identities. This volume advances theoretical discussions of island archaeology by offering a comparative study of the archaeology of colonisation, abandonment, and resettlement of the Mediterranean islands in prehistory. This comparative and thematic study encourages anthropological reflections on the archaeology of the islands, ultimately focusing on people rather than geographical units, and specifically on the relations between islanders, mainlanders, and the creation of islander identities. This volume has significance for scholars interested in Mediterranean archaeology, as well as those interested more broadly in colonisation and abandonment.
Archaeologists have traditionally considered islands as distinct physical and social entities. In this book, Paul Rainbird discusses the historical construction of this characterization and questions the basis for such an understanding of island archaeology. Through a series of case studies of prehistoric archaeology in the Mediterranean, Pacific, Baltic, and Atlantic seas and oceans, he argues for a decentering of the land in favor of an emphasis on the archaeology of the sea and, ultimately, a new perspective on the making of maritime communities. The archaeology of islands is thus unshackled from approaches that highlight boundedness and isolation, and replaced with a new set of principles - that boundaries are fuzzy, islanders are distinctive in their expectation of contacts with people from over the seas, and that island life can tell us much about maritime communities. Debating islands, thus, brings to the fore issues of identity and community and a concern with Western construction of other peoples.
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.
Islands in Time explores the ecological and cultural development of prehistoric island societies. It considers the prehistory of the Mediterranean and offers an explanation of the effects of isolation on the development of human communities. Evidence is drawn from a broad range of Mediterranean islands including Cyprus, Crete and the Cyclades, Malta, Lipari, Corsica and Sardinia.
This book attempts to explain the development of exchange relations between the two culturally distinct societies of Yap and Ulithi, Western Caroline Islands (Pacific Ocean). Much has been written about past interactions between Yap and Ulithi, both members of a larger exchange system known as "sawel." This study contributes to the long-term effort of research on interactions between Yap and the coral atolls of the Western Caroline Islands by adding ceramic analyses from archaeological contexts and diachronic explication of the ethnohistoric data pertaining to exchange. The author includes chemical characterization data from Yapese and Ulithian contexts to address questions about ceramic exchange and culture change. Before integrating the fragmentary archaeological and ethnohistoric records of exchange, ethnohistoric records are independently analyzed and structured into a diachronic paradigm. Archaeological and ethnohistorical records are integrated to construct a model of past Yap-Ulithi exchange. This model encompasses the time period between the earliest archaeological evidence of interaction on Mogmog (cal A.D. 620, AA-21212) to the end of the nineteenth century, when inter-island voyages were forbidden by the German and later the Japanese colonial governments. The distinct epistemologies of archaeological and ethnohistoric records of exchange are also examined to understand the possible integration of these vital data.
"Some 1,500 years ago, Polynesian seafarers discovered and settled the Hawaiian Islands, spawning a culture that flourished in isolation until Europeans arrived in the late eighteenth century. Pre-contact Hawaiian civilization is represented by a rich legacy of archaeological sites, many of which have been preserved and are accessible to the public. This volume provides for the first time an authoritative handbook to the most important of those archaeological treasures." "The fifty sites covered in this book are distributed over all of the main islands and include heiau (temples), habitation sites, irrigated and dryland agricultural complexes, fishponds, petroglyphs, and several post-contact (early nineteenth-century) sites. Site locations are shown on individual island maps, and detailed plans are provided for several sites."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The Pacific Ocean covers one-third of the earth’s surface and encompasses many thousands of islands that are home to numerous human societies and cultures. Among these indigenous Oceanic cultures are the intrepid Polynesian double-hulled canoe navigators, the atoll dwellers of Micronesia, the statue carvers of remote Easter Island, and the famed traders of Melanesia. Decades of archaeological excavations—combined with allied research in historical linguistics, biological anthropology, and comparative ethnography—have revealed much new information about the long-term history of these societies and cultures. On the Road of the Winds synthesizes the grand sweep of human history in the Pacific Islands, beginning with the movement of early people out from Asia more than 40,000 years ago and tracing the development of myriad indigenous cultures up to the time of European contact in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. This updated edition, enhanced with many new illustrations and an extensive bibliography, synthesizes the latest archaeological, linguistic, and biological discoveries that reveal the vastness of ancient history in the Pacific Islands.