Society Islands (Central Eastern Polynesia) Chronology: 11 Radiocarbon Dates for the Late Prehistoric Expansion and Proto-Historic Periods in the Opunohu Valley, Moorea
CitationKahn, J. G. (2006). Society Islands (Central Eastern Polynesia) chronology: 11 radiocarbon dates for the late prehistoric expansion and proto-historic periods in the ‘Opunohu Valley, Mo'orea. Radiocarbon, 48(3), 409-419.
AbstractThe chronology of residential site construction and occupation in the upper reaches of the Opunohu Valley, Moorea, Central Eastern Polynesia, has been debated over the last 15 yr. This paper reports a suite of 11 radiocarbon age determinations from excavations at 5 house sites and a simple temple structure (marae). Direct accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating of wood charcoal identified to short-lived taxa confirms site construction and occupation during the mid-15th to 17th centuries, supporting that maximal population density was in the centuries immediately prior to European contact. The study demonstrates that targeted dating of multiple structures within residential complexes allows for multiple phases of site construction and use to be discriminated. These data are critical for adequately assessing site contemporaneity and the development, maintenance, and expansion of residential groups and their house clusters through time.