Polynesians in America: Pre-Columbian Contacts with the New World

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Polynesians in America: Pre-Columbian Contacts with the New World

Editor Alice A. Storey, Elizabeth A. Matisoo-smith, Terry L. Jones

AltaMira Press | January 16, 2011 | Hardcover

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The possibility that Polynesian seafarers made landfall and interacted with the native people of the New World before Columbus has been the topic of academic discussion for well over a century, although American archaeologists have considered the idea verboten since the 1970s. Fresh discoveries made with the aid of new technologies along with re-evaluation of longstanding but often-ignored evidence provide a stronger case than ever before for multiple prehistoric Polynesian landfalls. This book reviews the debate, evaluates theoretical trends that have discouraged consideration of trans-oceanic contacts, summarizes the historic evidence and supplements it with recent archaeological, linguistic, botanical, and physical anthropological findings. Written by leading experts in their fields, this is a must-have volume for archaeologists, historians, anthropologists and anyone else interested in the remarkable long-distance voyages made by Polynesians. The combined evidence is used to argue that that Polynesians almost certainly made landfall in southern South America on the coast of Chile, in northern South America in the vicinity of the Gulf of Guayaquil, and on the coast of southern California in North America.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 380 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 0.79 in

Published: January 16, 2011

Publisher: AltaMira Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0759120048

ISBN - 13: 9780759120044

Found in: Social and Cultural Studies

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Polynesians in America: Pre-Columbian Contacts with the New World

Polynesians in America: Pre-Columbian Contacts with the New World

Editor Alice A. Storey, Elizabeth A. Matisoo-smith, Terry L. Jones

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 380 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 0.79 in

Published: January 16, 2011

Publisher: AltaMira Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0759120048

ISBN - 13: 9780759120044

About the Book

This volume presents a synthesis of over a century of academic research on the question of prehistoric trans-oceanic contacts between Polynesia and the New World. Leading experts in archaeology, botany, linguistics, and physical anthropology discuss the latest ground-breaking evidence that supports pre-Columbian Polynesian landfalls in both North and South America.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Re-introducing the Case for Polynesian Contact Chapter 2 Diffusionism in Archaeological Theory: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Chapter 3 Myths and Oral Traditions Chapter 4 A Longstanding Debate Chapter 5 The Artifact Record from North America Chapter 6 The Mapuche Connection Chapter 7 Identifying Contact with the Americas: A Commensal Based Approach Chapter 8 A Reappraisal of the Evidence for Pre-Columbian Introduction of Chickens to the Americas Chapter 9 Did Ancient Polynesians Reach the New World? Evaluating Evidence from the Ecuadorian Gulf of Guayaquil Chapter 10 Words from Furthest Polynesia: North and South American Linguistic Evidence for Prehistoric Contact Chapter 11 Human Biological Evidence for Polynesian Contacts with the Americas -Finding Maui on Mocha or Kupe in Carmel? Chapter 12 Rethinking the Chronology of Colonization of Southeast Polynesia Chapter 13 Sailing from Polynesia to the Americas Chapter 14 Summary and Conclusions

From the Publisher

The possibility that Polynesian seafarers made landfall and interacted with the native people of the New World before Columbus has been the topic of academic discussion for well over a century, although American archaeologists have considered the idea verboten since the 1970s. Fresh discoveries made with the aid of new technologies along with re-evaluation of longstanding but often-ignored evidence provide a stronger case than ever before for multiple prehistoric Polynesian landfalls. This book reviews the debate, evaluates theoretical trends that have discouraged consideration of trans-oceanic contacts, summarizes the historic evidence and supplements it with recent archaeological, linguistic, botanical, and physical anthropological findings. Written by leading experts in their fields, this is a must-have volume for archaeologists, historians, anthropologists and anyone else interested in the remarkable long-distance voyages made by Polynesians. The combined evidence is used to argue that that Polynesians almost certainly made landfall in southern South America on the coast of Chile, in northern South America in the vicinity of the Gulf of Guayaquil, and on the coast of southern California in North America.

About the Author

Terry L. Jones is professor of anthropology and chair of the Social Sciences Department at California Polytechnic State University. Alice A. Storey is lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Paleoanthropology at the University of New England in Australia. Elizabeth A. Matisoo-Smith is professor of biological anthropology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. José Miguel Ramírez-Aliaga is archaeology director of the Centro de Estudios Rapa Nui at the Universidad de Valparaíso in Chile.

Editorial Reviews

Polynesians in America, stemming from a symposium held at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archeology in St. Louis in 2010, addresses from fresh perspectives the question of contracts between Polynesia and the New World. The authors bring a range of mostly new archaeological, linguistic, ethnographic, and biological evidence to bear on the topic.
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