Asian Perspectives, 2002 - Volume 41, Number 2 (Fall)

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Asian Perspectives is the leading peer-reviewed archaeological journal devoted to the prehistory of Asia and the Pacific region. In addition to archaeology, it features articles and book reviews on ethnoarchaeology, palaeoanthropology, physical anthropology, and ethnography of interest and use to the prehistorian. International specialists contribute regional reports summarizing current research and fieldwork, and present topical reports of significant sites. Occasional special issues focus on single topics.


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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 10
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    Melanesian Tribes vs. Polynesian Chiefdoms: Recent Archaeological Assessment of a Classic Model of Sociopolitical Types in Oceania
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2002) Sand, Christophe
    The late prehistoric period is crucial to the study of anthropology, as the area of Island Melanesia has provided the world with one of its great anthropological stereotypes, the "Big Man" society. This was developed by Sahlins (1963) on the basis of Oliver's (1955) ethnography of the Siwai of southern Bougainville as observed during the late 1930s. It has led to a gross ethnographic oversimplification of Melanesia as having Big Man societies, contrasted with Polynesia having chiefly societies. Where chiefs were found in Melanesia, their presence has often been interpreted as a cultural borrowing under Polynesian influence (Spriggs 1993: 198). KEYWORDS: Melanesia; Polynesia; Big Man society; Polynesian chiefdom.
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    Dryland Horticulture in Maupiti: An Ethnoarchaeological Study
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2002) Cauchois, Mickaelle-Hinanui
    Maupiti (Society Islands, French Polynesia) is a small high island where dry and nonmechanized horticulture is still practiced. These practices can be seen in small orchard-gardens on the coastal plain and on mountainsides. Dryland cultures can seldom be organized in larger fields in the mountain, where staple species such as taro and bananas can be mixed among fallow. A quasi-exhaustive archaeological survey has been made in Maupiti and no evidence of prehistoric horticultural remains were found. This lack of archaeological remains and the presence of several dryland orchard-gardens were the beginning of a study whose main purpose was to try to understand how dryland horticulture should appear in the archaeological record. KEYWORDS: horticulture, Maupiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia, ethnoarchaeology, agriculture, dryland horticulture, burning.
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    Current Research on the Island of Ua Huka, Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2002) Conte, Eric
    Since 1991, an ethnoarchaeological research program has been carried out on the island of Ua Huka (Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia). The program included test excavations of early sites, the examination of dwelling and funerary sites, an inventory of surface monuments, an analysis of space utilization in recent periods, and ethnographic observations, all conducted concurrently. The aim of this program is to piece together the history of the Polynesian community inhabiting the island from the time of its arrival, through European contact, and even further. KEYWORDS: archaeology, Marquesas, French Polynesia, prehistory, ethnoarchaeology.
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    New Radiocarbon Ages of Colonization Sites in East Polynesia
    (University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu), 2002) Anderson, Atholl ; Sinoto, Yosihiko
    The archaeological chronology of initial human colonization in East Polynesia has relied substantially upon radiocarbon dating results from a small number of sites in the central region, notably Motu Paeao cemetery (Maupiti) and Vaito'otia-Fa'ahia (Huahine) in the Society Islands, and Hane (Va Huka) and Ha'atuatua (Nuku Hiva) in the Marquesas Islands. Recent field research and new radiocarbon dates showed that Ha'atuatua and Motu Paeao were occupied significantly later than had been suggested by earlier results. We now report the results of new radiocarbon dating on the remaining two sites. Leaving aside questionable results on bone and wood samples, six shell samples from Vaito'otia-Fa'ahia indicate occupation in the period A.D. 1050-1450. Five shell and five charcoal samples from Hane indicate that occupation did not begin earlier than about A.D. 1000. Taken together with other recent research on the chronology of initial colonization in East Polynesia we suggest that habitation did not begin until A.D. 900 or later. KEYWORDS: East Polynesia, radiocarbon dates.
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