Keyword: polynesian

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  • Clues to Prehistoric Human Exploration Found in Sweet Potato Genome

    01/21/2013 8:39:59 PM PST · by Theoria · 25 replies
    Science ^ | 21 Jan 2013 | Lizzie Wade
    Europeans raced across oceans and continents during the Age of Exploration in search of territory and riches. But when they reached the South Pacific, they found they had been beaten there by a more humble traveler: the sweet potato. Now, a new study suggests that the plant's genetics may be the key to unraveling another great age of exploration, one that predated European expansion by several hundred years and remains an anthropological enigma. Humans domesticated the sweet potato in the Peruvian highlands about 8000 years ago, and previous generations of scholars believed that Spanish and Portuguese explorers introduced the crop...
  • Dental plaque reveals key plant in prehistoric Easter Island diet

    12/19/2014 11:22:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    University of Otago ^ | Tuesday, 16 December 2014 | Ms Monica Tromp
    Known to its Polynesian inhabitants as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is thought to have been colonised around the 13th Century and is famed for its mysterious large stone statues or moai. Otago Anatomy PhD student Monica Tromp and Idaho State University’s Dr John Dudgeon have just published new research clearing up their previous puzzling finding that suggested palm may have been a staple plant food for Rapa Nui’s population over several centuries. However, no other line of archaeological or ethnohistoric evidence supports palm having a dietary role on Easter Island; in fact evidence points to the palm becoming extinct soon...
  • Archaeologists Find Evidence Of Origin Of Pacific Islanders

    03/31/2008 1:56:50 PM PDT · by blam · 26 replies · 1,238+ views
    VOA News ^ | 3-31-2008 | Heidi Chang
    Archaeologists Find Evidence of Origin of Pacific Islanders By Heidi Chang Honolulu, Hawaii 31 March 2008 The origin of Pacific Islanders has been a mystery for years. Now archaeologists believe they have the answer. As Heidi Chang reports, they found it in China. The excavation of the Zishan site (Zhejiang Province) in 1996, where many artifacts from the Hemudu culture have been found China had a sea-faring civilization as long as 7000 years ago. Archaeologist Tianlong Jiao says, one day, these mariners sailed their canoes into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, and stayed. He points out, "Most scientists, archaeologists,...
  • New Lapita Find Re-dates Known Fiji Settlers (Jomon/Ainu)

    07/14/2005 10:29:09 AM PDT · by blam · 15 replies · 2,420+ views
    Taipei Times ^ | 7-14-2005
    New Lapita find re-dates known Fiji settlers VITAL CLUE: The pottery shard, at least 200 years older than any other piece found in Fiji, is thought to be the work of the Lapita people that originated near Taiwan AFP , AUCKLAND Sunday, Oct 24, 2004 A biological anthropologist excavates a skeleton after archeologists discovered a 3,000-year-old cemetery in Vanuatu in August, holding secrets about the first humans to colonize the South Pacific. A shard of pottery showing a human face, pre-dating any other Lapita pottery in Fiji, has now been found and hailed a s a significant discovery. PHOTO: AFP...
  • Deep history of coconuts decoded (Colonization of the Americas?)

    06/24/2011 2:06:33 PM PDT · by decimon · 39 replies
    Washington University in St. Louis ^ | June 24, 2011 | Diana Lutz
    Written in coconut DNA are two origins of cultivation, several ancient trade routes, and the history of the colonization of the AmericasThe coconut (the fruit of the palm Cocos nucifera) is the Swiss Army knife of the plant kingdom; in one neat package it provides a high-calorie food, potable water, fiber that can be spun into rope, and a hard shell that can be turned into charcoal. What’s more, until it is needed for some other purpose it serves as a handy flotation device. No wonder people from ancient Austronesians to Captain Bligh pitched a few coconuts aboard before setting...
  • Easter Island's Ancient Inhabitants Weren't So Lonely After All

    10/23/2014 2:15:04 PM PDT · by blam · 21 replies
    BI - Reuters ^ | 10-23-2014 | Will Dunham, Reuters
    Will Dunham October 23, 2014 They lived on a remote dot of land in the middle of the Pacific, 2,300 miles (3,700 km) west of South America and 1,100 miles (1,770 km) from the closest island, erecting huge stone figures that still stare enigmatically from the hillsides. But the ancient Polynesian people who populated Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, were not as isolated as long believed. Scientists who conducted a genetic study, published on Thursday in the journal Current Biology, found these ancient people had significant contact with Native American populations hundreds of years before the first Westerners reached the...
  • Polynesian mtDNA in extinct Amerindians from Brazil

    04/04/2013 11:01:14 AM PDT · by Theoria · 14 replies
    Dienekes' Anthropology blog ^ | 03 April 2013 | Dienekes' Anthropology blog
    From the paper: In 1808 the Portuguese Crown declared “Just War” (Bellumiustum) against all Indian tribes that did not accept European laws (23). The fierce Botocudo were targeted in such wars and, in consequence, became virtually extinct by the end of the 19th century (24). Their importance for the history of the peopling of the Americas was revealed by studies reporting that the Botocudo had cranial features that consistently were described as intermediate between the polar Paleoamerican and Mongoloid morphologies (25, 26). Multivariate analyses of the cranial measures of different Amerindian and Paleoamerican groups from Brazil indeed concluded that the...
  • New Study Reveals First Polynesians Arrived in Tonga around 826 BC

    11/16/2012 9:18:49 AM PST · by Theoria · 5 replies
    Sci-News ^ | 09 Nov 2012 | Sergio Prostak
    Archaeologists, using new high-precision techniques, have come to the conclusion that first settlers arrived in Polynesia almost 2,900 years ago.This is a view on an island in Tonga (thekingdomoftonga.com) Polynesia was one of the last places on our planet to be settled by humans. In 2008, Prof David Burley of Simon Fraser University in Canada and his team claimed that Tonga was the first group of islands in the region to be settled by migrants – the Lapita people – some 3,000 years ago, and that Nukuleka, a small village on the coast of the Tonga’s Tongatapu Island, was their...
  • Evolution of Counting Is No Simple Operation

    01/14/2008 11:42:57 PM PST · by forkinsocket · 17 replies · 97+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 11 January 2008 | Elsa Youngsteadt
    You may not realize it, but when you tell the grocer you'd like a half-dozen eggs for your family of six, you're using a primitive numbering system. Anthropologists believe that such object-specific counting, in which words like "half-dozen" and "six" denote the same quantity but refer to different objects, preceded abstract counting systems, in which any number can describe any object. Now, a study of Pacific Island languages suggests that counting systems can also evolve in reverse, becoming more object-specific. People on the Polynesian island of Mangareva take object-specific counting to the extreme. They tally some things, such as unripe...
  • 2007 - Year Of The Lapita? (Polynesian Breakthroughs)

    12/13/2007 1:03:09 PM PST · by blam · 8 replies · 208+ views
    Archaeology Magazine ^ | January/Febuary 2008 | Mark Rose
    2007—Year of the Lapita? Volume 61 Number 1, January/February 2008 by Mark Rose Polynesian Breakthroughs A Polynesian chicken (Anita Gould) and a Chilean chicken bone (Courtesy Alice Storey) There was no doubt about including in our 2007 Top Ten the discovery that chicken bones from ancient Polynesian sites in Tonga and Samoa and El Arenal, a Chilean site occupied between A.D. 700 and 1390, had identical DNA. The chicken was domesticated in Southeast Asia, but how it arrived in the New World before Europeans arrived was a mystery. Now it seems that Polynesian seafarers brought them, adding to the evidence...
  • Polynesian Sailing Myth All At Sea

    08/30/2006 10:20:42 AM PDT · by blam · 20 replies · 867+ views
    ABC Science News ^ | 8-30-2006 | Judy Skatssoon
    Polynesian sailing myth all at sea Judy Skatssoon ABC Science Online Wednesday, 30 August 2006 Archaeolgists believe structures like the Tevaitau fort reflect hostility between population groups competing for resources (Image: Douglas Kennett) The Polynesians had trouble reaching remote South Pacific islands, according to a new study that dents their reputation as great seafarers. An archaeological study shows they settled Rapa, an island southeast of Tahiti, more recently than anyone thought. Professor Atholl Anderson, of the Australian National University, and international colleagues publish their research in the current issue of the journal Antiquity. Dating of charcoal from archaeological sites on...
  • Polynesian Cemetery Unlocks Ancient Burial Secrets (Lapita)

    10/31/2005 4:06:20 PM PST · by blam · 5 replies · 429+ views
    ABC Science Online ^ | 10-31-2005 | Anna Salleh
    Last Update: Monday, October 31, 2005. 6:03pm (AEDT) Polynesian cemetery unlocks ancient burial secrets By Anna Salleh, ABC Science Online The first people to settle Polynesia went to surprising lengths to honour their dead, archaeologists show. Remains from the oldest cemetery in the Pacific suggest the Lapita people buried their dead in many different ways, some in "weird yoga positions", and removed their skulls for ceremonial purposes. Dr Stuart Bedford and Professor Matthew Spriggs of the Australian National University reported their finds on the Lapita culture in Vanuatu at a recent seminar in Canberra. "We found for the first time...
  • 3,000-Year-Old Bodies Studied in Australia

    08/27/2004 7:27:50 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 13 replies · 732+ views
    AP via Yahoo! News ^ | 08/27/04 | N/A
    3,000-Year-Old Bodies Studied in Australia 25 minutes ago Add Science - AP to My Yahoo! SYDNEY, Australia - Headless bodies buried 3,000 years ago in the oldest cemetery in the Pacific could reveal much about the earliest settlers of Vanuatu, Fiji and Polynesia, Australian archeologists said on Friday. The burial site — which was accidentally uncovered by a bulldozer driver building an embankment for a prawn farm — contains the oldest human remains yet found in the region. Archeologists say the discovery will unearth many clues about the appearance and culture of the Lapita people — some of the earliest...