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 background 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 booklet with huge charm for college students and basic readers.

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Extra resources for A history of the Pacific Islands

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They are still there today. Constant change – that is, internal development, migration, adaptation to environmental and climatic variations, and Page 11 external contact – was affecting the human history of early Pacific Islands as much as it was all other regions on Earth around 4500 years ago. The constant change continued. No archæological discoveries show Papuan settlement beyond the Solomon Islands before the arrival of Austronesians. Yet today's Melanesians in this region comprise a Papuan-Austronesian (Australoid-Southern Mongoloid) hybrid people.

Formerly known as Malayo-Polynesian, the Austronesian language family contains the world's greatest number of member tongues: around 1200, or 30 per cent of all the world's languages (if one accepts there are currently around 4000). Spoken today by approximately 270 million people, the Austronesian family includes nearly all the languages of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Madagascar (east of Africa), Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. It is the first language family in history to be spoken in over two-thirds of the globe.

A voyage there meant an unheard-of distance in open sea. It could well have demanded up to several weeks' sailing, depending on winds. Once arrived at Fiji, the Lapita voyagers would have had to accept this isolation as a kind of sentence: limited exchange with the western homeland and its resources would have been the acknowledged price of permanent settlement there. The settlers established ‘gateway communities’ on Fiji through which subsequent settlers and goods were funnelled throughout a protracted period of colonization there.

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A history of the Pacific Islands by Steven R. Fischer


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