Early Cessation of Ceramic Production for Ancestral Polynesian Society in Tonga

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Burley DV, Connaughton SP, Clark G (2018) Early cessation of ceramic production for ancestral Polynesian society in Tonga. PLoS ONE 13(2): e0193166. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193166.

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Ancestral Polynesian society is the formative base for development of the Polynesian cultural template and proto-Polynesian linguistic stage. Emerging in western Polynesia ca 2700 cal BP, it is correlated in the archaeological record of Tonga with the Polynesian Plainware ceramic phase presently thought to be of approximately 800 years duration or longer. Here we re-establish the upper boundary for this phase to no more than 2350 cal BP employing a suite of 44 new and existing radiocarbon dates from 13 Polynesian Plainware site occupations across the extent of Tonga. The implications of this boundary, the abruptness of ceramic loss, and the shortening of duration to 350 years have substantive implications for archaeological interpretations in the ancestral Polynesian homeland.

Document type: 
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)