Re-envisioning long-distance Oceanic migration: Early dates in the Mariana Islands

Mike T. Carson, Hiro Kurashina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Dates as early as 1500 bc now can be confirmed for first human settlement of the remote Mariana Islands, more than 2000km from any contemporary populated area. These findings bear directly on comprehending long-distance human migration, and they alter orthodox views of how people first colonised the Pacific Islands. Remote Oceanic settlement has previously been understood as the legacy of Lapita pottery makers entering the Bismarck Archipelago about 1500-1350 bc, spreading into the remote islands of Southern Melanesia and West Polynesia after 1200 bc. This outline is strongly evidenced, but now it can be modified to account for Marianas colonisation at an earlier date and over a longer migration distance. Early Marianas site-dating is reviewed here comprehensively for the first time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-435
Number of pages27
JournalWorld Archaeology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes


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