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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Tonga and Sāmoa are adjacent archipelagoes on the west central flank of the Polynesian triangle. These were the first islands to be settled in Polynesia, and they ultimately became the homeland from which islands in East Polynesia were colonized. Long held assumptions in regional archaeology suggest Tongan/Sāmoan culture histories are interwoven and homogeneous. This is only partly the case, as is illustrated in a review of regional archaeology including Lapita and Plainware ceramics, debates on the veracity of ancestral Polynesian society and homeland, on the political evolution and outcomes for chiefdom-level society, in archaeological data reflecting interaction, warfare, trade, and elite intermarriage as well as in traditional histories extending over a millennium. Research themes and critiques are structured and prioritized by personal perspectives of the authors.

Keywords: Tonga, Sāmoa, Lapita, Plainware ceramics, ancestral Polynesia, Polynesian chiefdom, traditional history

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