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Get A history of the Pacific Islands PDF

By Steven R. Fischer

ISBN-10: 0333949757

ISBN-13: 9780333949757

A background of the Pacific Islands strains the human background of approximately one-third of the globe over a 50,000 12 months span. this is often heritage on a grand scale, taking the islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia from prehistoric tradition to the current day via a skillful interpretation of scholarship within the box. Fischer's familiarity with paintings in archaeology and anthropology in addition to in background enriches the textual content, making this a e-book with vast charm for college students and common readers.

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The Austronesians' saga is fascinating. Some 8000 years ago, once rising seas had attained maximum levels and global mean temperatures had effected a major climate change, a distinct cultural complex (only now being identified by scholars) singled out a diverse, but interrelated Southern Mongoloid population which was settled along China's southern coast. Around 6000 years ago members of this complex Page 12 left the Asian mainland – probably sailing, not drifting, approximately 130 kilometres of open ocean – to settle Taiwan where, over centuries, their language(s) developed into Proto-Austronesian.

That New Guinea Highlanders practised frequent exchange with coastal regions is evidenced by the discovery in Highland sites of marine shell ornaments dating from around 9000 years ago. One assumes that the shells came from the many Papuan coastal settlements today under the sea. But around 4500 years ago, polished stone tools and pottery-making also appear to have reached New Guinea's Highlands from the coast. At this time, Highland Papuan communities were rapidly becoming mixed hunting-gathering and horticultural societies.

It is too soon to definitively evaluate the discovery. Still, one should appreciate that the trend of the past half century has been one of ever-earlier dates for a hominid presence in Sahul. All living humans in the region are, as most scholars agree, descendants of Homo sapiens sapiens who more recently came ‘out of Africa’, as particularly modern genetic studies witness. From 100 000 to 50 000 years ago, modern humans were ranging out to populate nearly all the Old World (and perhaps the Americas, too, as some scholars are now claiming).

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A history of the Pacific Islands by Steven R. Fischer


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