'Extraordinary... A fascinating and intelligent book.' Sunday Times New islands are being built at an unprecedented rate whether for tourism or territorial ambition, while many islands are disappearing or fragmenting because of rising sea levels. It is a strange planetary spectacle, creating an ever-changing map which even Google Earth struggles to keep pace with. In The Age of Islands, explorer and geographer Alastair Bonnett takes the reader on a compelling and thought-provoking tour of the world's newest, most fragile and beautiful islands and reveals what, he argues, is one of the great dramas of our time. From a 'crannog', an ancient artificial island in a Scottish loch, to the militarized artificial islands China is building in the South China Sea; from the disappearing islands that remain the home of native Central Americans to the ritzy new islands of Dubai; from Hong Kong and the Isles of Scilly to islands far away and near: all have urgent stories to tell.
The cultural identity of the Ionian Islands during the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age was shaped by a variety of factors, not least by their geographical position at the north-western fringes of the Aegean world. Through the scrutiny of all the categories of archaeological evidence – tombs and cemeteries, settlements and artifacts – the author succeeds in reconstructing the archaeological profile of this fascinating region. Spanning the chronological period from 3000 to 800BC, this study will be of interest to archaeologists and students of Greek prehistory as a whole as well as to those studying regions and island groups. "The descriptions of sites are clear and detailed, the parallels thoroughly researched and the analysis of connections and implications lucid, objective and impressively well-informed... a gigantic step forward in the archaeology of the Ionian Islands."—Mediterranean Prehistory Online
Islands of Silence is the story of the young Alec Marquand, who in the summer of 1914 has just graduated from college with a degree in archaeology. He has been hired by the lord of a remote country estate in the Scottish Highlands to survey the ancient Stone Age brochs that lie on his property. Once there Alec comes upon a small island which is called Eilean Tosdach--the Island of Silence. What Alec discovers on that island changes him forever. And just as Alec makes his amazing find, he is shipped off to war . . . a war he does not want to fight, but one in which he ends up as a medic aboard a ship ready to storm the beaches of Gallipoli. A brilliantly crafted novel in the tradition of All's Quiet on the Western Front and The Ghost Road, Islands of Silence is a tour through one man's hell in search of a path for redemption.
Perhaps no scholar has done more to reveal the ancient history of Polynesia than noted archaeologist Patrick Vinton Kirch. For close to fifty years he explored the Pacific, as his work took him to more than two dozen islands spread across the ocean, from Mussau to Hawai'i to Easter Island. In this lively memoir, rich with personal—and often amusing—anecdotes, Kirch relates his many adventures while doing fieldwork on remote islands. At the age of thirteen, Kirch was accepted as a summer intern by the eccentric Bishop Museum zoologist Yoshio Kondo and was soon participating in archaeological digs on the islands of Hawai'i and Maui. He continued to apprentice with Kondo during his high school years at Punahou, and after obtaining his anthropology degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Kirch joined a Bishop Museum expedition to Anuta Island, where a traditional Polynesian culture still flourished. His appetite whetted by these adventures, Kirch went on to obtain his doctorate at Yale University with a study of the traditional irrigation-based chiefdoms of Futuna Island. Further expeditions have taken him to isolated Tikopia, where his excavations exposed stratified sites extending back three thousand years; to Niuatoputapu, a former outpost of the Tongan maritime empire; to Mangaia, with its fortified refuge caves; and to Mo'orea, where chiefs vied to construct impressive temples to the war god 'Oro. In Hawai'i, Kirch traced the islands' history in the Anahulu valley and across the ancient district of Kahikinui, Maui. His joint research with ecologists, soil scientists, and paleontologists elucidated how Polynesians adapted to their island ecosystems. Looking back over the past half-century of Polynesian archaeology, Kirch reflects on how the questions we ask about the past have changed over the decades, how archaeological methods have advanced, and how our knowledge of the Polynesian past has greatly expanded.
Oliver Sacks has always been fascinated by islands--their remoteness, their mystery, above all the unique forms of life they harbor. For him, islands conjure up equally the romance of Melville and Stevenson, the adventure of Magellan and Cook, and the scientific wonder of Darwin and Wallace. Drawn to the tiny Pacific atoll of Pingelap by intriguing reports of an isolated community of islanders born totally color-blind, Sacks finds himself setting up a clinic in a one-room island dispensary, where he listens to these achromatopic islanders describe their colorless world in rich terms of pattern and tone, luminance and shadow. And on Guam, where he goes to investigate the puzzling neurodegenerative paralysis endemic there for a century, he becomes, for a brief time, an island neurologist, making house calls with his colleague John Steele, amid crowing cockerels, cycad jungles, and the remains of a colonial culture. The islands reawaken Sacks's lifelong passion for botany--in particular, for the primitive cycad trees, whose existence dates back to the Paleozoic--and the cycads are the starting point for an intensely personal reflection on the meaning of islands, the dissemination of species, the genesis of disease, and the nature of deep geologic time. Out of an unexpected journey, Sacks has woven an unforgettable narrative which immerses us in the romance of island life, and shares his own compelling vision of the complexities of being human.
Throughout the long course of literature, islands have accumulated uncanny connotations of death, together with peculiarities of linguistic definition and expression. Since the age of discovery, after the Caribbean Islands, America itself, and later the archipelagos and atolls in the Pacific became known to travellers and conquistadores, islands have been sought, searched, explored and physically possessed as women; cultural recognition takes the form of sexual and physical possession (Venus was born from the sea, and is identified with an island). These are the themes of the first two variations discussed in this book.
When they arrive on Seacrow Island the Melkerson family have doubts about their choice of summer vacation, their little cottage is rundown, and it's pouring with rain, but it's not long before they're won over by the fun, adventure, and friendships that the island has to offer.
When Sofia meets Franz Oswald, the handsome, charming leader of a mysterious New Age movement, she's dazzled and intrigued. Visiting his headquarters on Fog Island, Sofia's struck by the beautiful mansion overlooking the sea, the gardens, the sense of peace and the purposefulness of the people who live there. And she can't ignore the attraction she feels for Franz. So she agrees to stay, just for a while. But as summer gives way to winter, and the dense fog from which the island draws its name sets in, it becomes clear that Franz rules the island with an iron fist. No phones or computers are allowed. Contact with the mainland is severed. Electric fences surround the grounds. And Sofia begins to realize how very alone she is and that no one ever leaves Fog Island...