The Pacific Islands

Chris Gosden

in The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199271016
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 The Pacific Islands

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  • Classical Studies
  • Archaeology by Region


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This article examines the archaeology of the Pacific Islands. It describes the three parts of the Pacific Islands including Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and explores the issues concerning the use of material culture, land, and power in a comparative sense, focusing on the last millennium as a period of crucial change. It argues that the distinction between inter-group and emblematic languages in the form that it can be recognized today has a relatively recent history, coeval with that of the trading systems central to the production of social diversity.

Keywords: archaeology; Pacific Islands; Polynesia; Micronesia; Melanesia; material culture; inter-group languages; social diversity

Article.  11084 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Archaeology by Region

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