The Early Prehistory of Fiji

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ANU E Press, 2009 M12 1 - 437 pages
I enjoyed reading this volume. It is rare to see such a comprehensive report on hard data published these days, especially one so insightfully contextualised by the editors' introductory and concluding chapters. These scholars and the others involved in the work really know their stuff, and it shows. The editors connect the preoccupations of Pacific archaeologists with those of their colleagues working in other island regions and on "big questions" of colonisation, migration, interaction and patterns and processes of cultural change in hitherto-uninhabited environments. These sorts of outward-looking, big-picture contextual studies are invaluable, but all too often are missing from locally- and regionally-oriented writing, very much to its detriment. In sum, the work strongly advances our understanding of the early prehistory of Fiji through its well-integrated combination of original research and the reinterpretation of existing knowledge in the context of wider theoretical and historical concerns. In doing so The Early Prehistory of Fiji makes a truly substantial contribution to Pacific and archaeological scholarship. Professor Ian Lilley, The University of Queensland
 

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Contents

Research on the early prehistory of Fiji
1
Palaeofaunal sites and excavations
19
Results of palaeofaunal research
41
Alternative records
63
Fieldwork in southern Viti Levu and Beqa Island
87
Fieldwork in northern Viti Levu and Mago Island
121
Site chronology and a review of radiocarbon dates from Fiji
153
Molluscan remains from Fiji
183
The fish bone remains
213
Bird mammal and reptile remains
231
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About the author (2009)

Atholl Anderson was born in Hawera, New Zealand. He was educated at Canterbury, Otago and Cambridge universities. For 17 years he was on the staff of Otago University, eventually as Professor and Head of the Anthropology Department. During that time he directed numerous archaeological excavations and published a major work on moa-hunting Prodigious Birds: Moas and Moa-hunting in Prehistoric New Zealand and other books on the archaeology and early history of southern New Zealand (When All the Moa Ovens Grew Cold, 1983 and Te Puoho's Last Raid, 1986. For his research in New Zealand's prehistory he was awarded the Percy Smith Medal and the Elsdon Best Medal. The Welcome of Strangers: An ethnohistory of southern Maori A.D 1650-1850, published in 1998, is a milestone in scholarly literature. In 1993, he became Professor of Prehistory in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, where he researches the prehistoric colonisation of the Pacific islands. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2015 his title, Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History, made The New Zealand Best Seller List. This title won the 2015 Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize and in 2016 it won the New Zealand Award illustrated nonfiction award. Atholl Anderson also made the Ernest Scott Prize 2015 shortlist with this title. This title won the 2015 Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Award in te History category. Atholl Anderson was also named the John David Stout Fellow for 2016 at Victoria University of Wellington. The fellowship is hosted by the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies and funded by the Stout Trust. Atholl Anderson was also a recipient of a 2016 New Zealand Prime Minister¿s Award for Literary Achievement in the nonfiction category.

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