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Population Genetics, Linguistics, and Culture History in the Southwest Pacific$
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Jonathan S. Friedlaender

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195300307

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300307.001.0001

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Island Melanesian Pasts: A View from Archeology

Island Melanesian Pasts: A View from Archeology

Chapter:
(p.10) 2 Island Melanesian Pasts: A View from Archeology
Source:
Population Genetics, Linguistics, and Culture History in the Southwest Pacific
Author(s):

Glenn R. Summerhayes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300307.003.0002

This chapter identifies incipient trading networks and spheres of influence across the region, dating well back into the Upper Pleistocene. Over the more recent period, including the entire Holocene, there is considerable evidence for intensification of these networks and influences. From this perspective, the Lapita expansion beginning just over 3,000 years ago, while still something quite new and transforming, clearly builds on many developing local themes and represented only the latest (and most important) influence from Sunda, beyond the Wallace Line. The chapter is an argument against earlier simplistic notions of a two-stage settlement history that envisioned an initial settlement by a homogenous population perhaps 40,000 years ago that persisted in isolation until an intrusion by a distinctive Southeast Asian/Taiwanese population with a completely distinctive cultural complex (the Lapita phenomenon). This theme of developing complexity and interaction is carried through to the following chapters on population genetics and linguistics.

Keywords:   Upper Pleistocene, two-stage settlment history, networks, Lapita, interaction spheres

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