Skip to main content
Ref ID: 26773
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Sand, Christophe
Bolé, Jacques
Ouetcho, André
Title: Prehistory and its perception in a Melanesian archipelago: the New Caledonia example
Date: 2003
Source: Antiquity
Abstract: What were the social structures of prehistoric Melanesia really like – and how did they evolve? This study of the archaeology of New Caledonia shows how the west has had a double impact on its prehistory. First, explorers altered the social structure by their arrival and the introduction of western diseases, and then anthropologists created an image of communities which were ancient, simple and static. New archaeological field data by contrast is mapping nearly 3000 pre-European years of occupation which was marked by dynamic social and cultural change involving sophisticated economic strategies. The evidence suggests that the European anthropologists of the twentieth century were actually interpreting the social effects of the European explorers of the nineteenth century. The new archaeological model is providing food for thought for the modern multi-cultural country of New Caledonia.
Date Created: 4/18/2018
Volume: 77
Number: 297
Page Start: 505
Page End: 519