View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780759120044
Publisher: AltaMira Press
Publication date: 01/16/2011
Pages: 380
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

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.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xix

Chapter 1 Re-introducing the Case for Polynesian Contact Terry L. Jones 1

Chapter 2 Diffusionism in Archaeological Theory: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Alice A. Storey Terry L. Jones 7

Chapter 3 Myths and Oral Traditions Terry L. Jones Alice A. Storey 25

Chapter 4 A Long-Standing Debate Terry L. Jones Alice A. Storey 37

Chapter 5 The Artifact Record from North America Terry L. Jones 71

Chapter 6 The Mapuche Connection José Miguel Ramírez-Aliaga 95

Chapter 7 Identifying Contact with the Americas: A Commensal-Based Approach Alice A. Storey Andrew C. Clarke Elizabeth A. Matisoo-Smith 111

Chapter 8 A Reappraisal of the Evidence for Pre-Columbian Introduction of Chickens to the Americas Alice A. Storey Daniel Quiróz Elizabeth A. Matisoo-Smith 139

Chapter 9 Did Ancient Polynesians Reach the New World? Evaluating Evidence from the Ecuadorian Gulf of Guayaquil Richard Scaglion María-Auxiliadora Cordero 171

Chapter 10 Words from Furthest Polynesia: North and South American Linguistic Evidence for Prehistoric Contact Kathryn A. Klar 194

Chapter 11 Human Biological Evidence for Polynesian Contacts with the Americas: Finding Maui on Mocha? Elizabeth A. Matisoo-Smith 208

Chapter 12 Rethinking the Chronology of Colonization of Southeast Polynesia Marshall I. Weisler Roger C. Green 223

Chapter 13 Sailing from Polynesia to the Americas Geoffrey Ir Win 247

Chapter 14 Summary and Conclusions Terry L. Jones Andrew C. Clarke María-Auxiliadora Cordero Roger C. Green Geoffrey Ir Win Kathryn A. Klar Elizabeth A. Matisoo-Smith Daniel Quiróz José Miguel Ramírez-Aliaga Richard Scaglion Alice A. Storey Marshall I. Weisler 263

References 277

Index 351

About the Contributors 355

Customer Reviews