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Ref ID: 24106
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Jones, Rhys
Spriggs, Matthew
Title: Theatrum Oceani: themes and arguments concerning the prehistory of Australia and the Pacific
Date: 2002
Source: Archaeology: the widening debate
Place of Publication: Oxford
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract: Archaeology is a very young discipline in the Pacific region. We are still much concerned with the 'when' of prehistory and still working out the implications of this for the 'why' which justifies its study. It is thus the 'when' we stress here in an overview of the settlement of the region, and the difficulties involved in establishing acceptable chronologies. There are difficulties of techniques of dating beyond the 'radiocarbon barrier' of about 40,000 years and difficulties of interpretation of stratigraphy at major sites in Southeast Asia and Near Oceania. At the other end of the chronological and geographical spectrum in East Polynesia, with a less than 2000 year prehistoric archaeological record, the problems are those of the interpretation of the radiocarbon dates themselves. Problems of old wood, natural or cultural burning and proper calibration of marine shell samples loom large in sometimes spirited discussion.
Date Created: 9/19/2006
Editors: Cunliffe, Barry
Davies, Wendy
Renfrew, Colin
Page Start: 245
Page End: 294