Human Impacts on Ancient Marine Ecosystems: A Global Perspective

By Torben C. Rick; Jon M. Erlandson | Go to book overview

2
Short and Sometimes Sharp
HUMAN IMPACTS ON MARINE RESOURCES IN THE ARCHAEOLOGY
AND HISTORY OF SOUTH POLYNESIA

Atholl Anderson

THE POLYNESIAN ISLANDS LIE in the central Pacific Ocean where sheer distance from continental margins, and prevailing easterly winds and currents severely restricted biotic diversity in native terrestrial taxa, as exemplified by the complete absence of mammals other than bats. Human colonists, their own inventory of cultigens and domesticates slimmed in much the same way, had to look substantially to marine resources, especially in the distinctive region of South Polynesia, which extends across a 6,500,000-km2 area of the Pacific Ocean. South Polynesia encloses New Zealand and the outlying island groups that surround it at a 500- to 800-km distance (Figure 2.1).

The historical native populations of South Polynesia, Maori in New Zealand, and Moriori in the Chatham Islands, were closely related in lineage, language, and society to those of East Polynesia, but, for environmental reasons primarily, their historical experiences were significantly different. East Polynesian islands generally are small (Hawaii is an exception), of geologically young basalts and coral, and lie entirely within the tropics. South Polynesia is dominated by the relatively immense New Zealand islands (Table 2.1), which contain over 90 percent of the total Polynesian land area. Lying in the geologically continental southwest Pacific, and extending from subtropical (29° S) to subpolar (51° S) zones, South Polynesia has a broadly temperate environment with relatively ancient Gondwanan elements in its geology and biota.

In Polynesia as a whole, the recent advent of human colonization postdates all significant sea-level change. A high stand of 1 to 2 m above modern levels peaked about 4,000 years ago and was still receding when people reached West Polynesia (Samoa, Tonga, and nearby islands) about 3,000 years ago, so the earliest sites are found on relict beach ridges. The rest of Polynesia was colonized after sea levels became very close to modern (Dickinson 2001). Prehistoric settlement in declining or modern sea levels has the considerable archaeological advantage that the surviving sites are likely to sample the full chronological and geographical ranges of those originally deposited.

-21-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Human Impacts on Ancient Marine Ecosystems: A Global Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 322

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.