The Prehistoric Exploration and Colonisation of the Pacific / Edition 1

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The exploration and colonization of the Pacific is a remarkable episode in human prehistory. Early sea-going explorers had no knowledge of Pacific geography, no instruments for measuring time and none for exploration. Forty years of modern archaeology, experimental voyages in rafts, and computer simulations of voyages have produced an normous range of literature on this controversial subject. This book represents a major advance in knowledge of the settlement of the Pacific by suggesting that exploration was rapid, purposeful and undertaken systematically, and that navigation methods progressively improved.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Irwin's study is, quite simply, one of the best books written within the past ten years on the archaeology of the Pacific." Choice

"...written by an archaeologist and practising sailor, gives...the most convincing review of the navigational practicalities of the whole topic published to date." The Review of Archaeology

"...a crisp but fascinating style...efficient but readable." The Northern Mariner

"This is a book that needs to be read by anyone interested in islands and island colonization..." William F. Keegan, Asian Perspectives

"For those interested in the early colonization of the Pacific Islands, this is a useful book....this book should interest any student of the archaeology of Oceania. It is a book full of information useful for those studying the topic and region." Brian Chisholm, Pacific Affairs

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521476515
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

1. An introduction to the Pacific and the theory of its settlement; 2. Pleistocene voyaging and the settlement of Greater Australia and its Near Oceanic neighbours; 3. Issues in Lapita studies and the background to Oceanic colonisation; 4. Against, across and down the wind: a case for the systematic exploration of the remote Pacific; 5. The colonisation of Eastern Melanesia, West Polynesia and Central East Polynesia; 6. The colonisation of Hawaii, New Zealand and their neighbours; 7. Issues in the colonisation of Micronesia; 8. Voyaging by computer: experiments in the exploration of the remote Pacific Ocean; 9. Voyaging after colonisation and the study of culture change; 10. The rediscovery of Pacific exploration; Bibliography; Index.

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