Mortuary practices of the first Polynesians: formative ethnogenesis in the Kingdom of Tonga

Valentin, Frederique, Clark, Geoffrey, Parton, Philip, and Reepmeyer, Christian (2020) Mortuary practices of the first Polynesians: formative ethnogenesis in the Kingdom of Tonga. Antiquity: a quarterly review of archaeology, 94 (376). pp. 999-1014.

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Abstract

Ancestral Polynesian Society has been argued to represent a formative stage in Polynesian ethnogenesis. Recently discovered human burials at the Talasiu midden site in Tonga, dating to c. 2650 cal BP, now provide the earliest known evidence for Ancestral Polynesian mortuary behaviour. This article presents and evaluates the burials, comparing archaeological evidence for Talasiu mortuary practices with those of older Lapita and more recent Tongan burials, as well as with Ancestral Polynesian Society funerary activities inferred through linguistic reconstruction. These comparisons emphasise that several socio-cultural behaviours that are important to contemporary Polynesian societies were expressed very differently in the past.

Item ID: 64178
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0003-598X
Keywords: Pacific Islands, Tonga, Lapita, ethnogenesis, mortuary practice
Copyright Information: © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2020
Funders: MAEDI, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC grant FT0990591
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2020 07:43
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430199 Archaeology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280113 Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology @ 100%
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