Anthro 124A Archaeology of the South Pacific
Anthro 124A is an intensive review of the archaeology and prehistory of the region known as Oceania, including the classically defined Melanesian, Micronesian, and Polynesian culture areas. (Australia and Tasmania will be covered only with reference to the Pleistocene settlement of Sahul. Island Southeast Asia will be considered peripherally, as the ultimate source area for human settlement of the inner Pacific.)
For the Oceanic islands and archipelagoes we will systematically review current evidence as to their settlement histories, as well as what is known of the development of their distinctive patterns of technology, economy, sociopolitical organization, and ideology as indicated by the archaeological record. My approach to anthropological archaeology is holistic, in that I draw upon secondary evidence from linguistics, comparative ethnography, and human biology as well as direct archaeological evidence. Particular emphasis will be placed on the controlled comparison of different island cultures, for insights this provides to general patterns of cultural change and transformation.
Prerequisites: Anthro 2 (Introduction to Archaeology), or the equivalent is strongly recommended. If you have not had Anthro 2, you should read one of the basic introductory textbooks to anthropological archaeology, as background.