My colleagues and I have published several articles thus far in 2017 that are relevant to Samoan prehistory and landform evolution. Have a look:
Here’s the 100 word summary of my recent grant submisstion:
“Despite being the archetype of socially stratified and hierarchical ancient cultures, we do not know how the Polynesian chiefdoms arose from less complex societies. The untested orthodox theory proposes that innovations in land tenure and agriculture lead to chiefly control of populations. Our international team will test this theory through new drone-based mapping and innovative soil analyses that track changes in land boundaries and agricultural productivity. Our research will discover the origins of the Polynesian chiefdoms with significant results for explanations of Polynesia prehistory, the functioning of stratified societies, and the global rise of persistent, institutionalized inequality.”
This is very much a LKFS type of project where we will try to determine the chronology of agriculture and different types of land use in Falefa Valley, ‘Upolu, Samoa. My grant collaborators are Seth Quintus and Matthew Prebble.
It’s a long way from the tropical Pacific, but an excellent flintknapping course availabe through my colleagues in Brazil. Please check it out at the link below:
Giving a talk at UCL on Monday, and also at the University of Bristol on Wednesday, has forced me to think a lot about relevant evolutionary and ecological processes that explain “mass” human movements: proximate triggers such as climate change, selection and the cost of migration, and other issues. All very relevant today.
Helene Martinsson-Wallin’s book is available for ordering.
A new study in Nature by Goldberg et al. (http://rdcu.be/haRk) examines demographic patterns after initial colonization of South America. They rely on radiocarbon dates (summed probability distributions) and site distributions. I wonder if a similar procedure could be used for Lapita colonization of Remote Ocean and later East Polynesia. We do not have enough “clean” radiocarbon dates however ( http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/long/108/5/1815).
However, the explanation of the South American pattern is interesting: rapid dispersal and low impact on the enviroment through hunting/gathering and low level food production. Later agriculture increases and population growth turns exponential–sounds like Oceanic colonization to me…
I’m giving a talk during a trip to work with Dr Fiona Jordan at the University of Bristol.
Just returned from setting up a new field project in Samoa. We will be doing work similar to that in Aleipata–coring, geology, and archaeology in Fagaloa, a large bay on Upolu’s northwest coastline.
Just getting around to putting up some research:
Whole article here: Cochrane2015JPS