Australian Museum Journal Additional evidence for pre-1788 visits by Pacific Islanders to Norfolk Island, south-west Pacific. In F.D. McCarthy, Commemorative Papers (Archaeology, Anthropology, Rock Art), ed. Jim Specht

Shortform:
Specht, 1993, Rec. Aust. Mus., Suppl. 17: 145–157
Author(s):
Specht, Jim
Year published:
1993
Title:
Additional evidence for pre-1788 visits by Pacific Islanders to Norfolk Island, south-west Pacific. In F.D. McCarthy, Commemorative Papers (Archaeology, Anthropology, Rock Art), ed. Jim Specht
Serial title:
Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement
Volume:
17
Start page:
145
End page:
157
DOI:
10.3853/j.0812-7387.17.1993.66
Language:
English
Date published:
27 May 1993
Cover date:
27 May 1993
ISBN:
ISBN 0-7310-0280-6
ISSN:
0812-7387
CODEN:
RAMSEZ
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Subjects:
ANTHROPOLOGY; CULTURE: INDIGENOUS; ETHNOGRAPHY
Digitized:
16 June 2009
Reference number:
66
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (108kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (1864kb PDF)

Abstract

One of F.D. McCarthys earliest professional papers was a report of stone tools on Norfolk Island which he interpreted as evidence for pre-British visits by Pacific Islanders, probably from Polynesia. Since McCarthys paper (1934), additional artefactual, biological and historical evidences have supported his original conclusions. The present paper describes further finds and concludes that the evidence is firmly in favour of Pacific Islanders visiting and using the Kingston area of Norfolk Island about 700 years ago and, probably, again at a later date. These visits originated in the East Polynesian area, possibly the Society or Cook Islands and New Zealand, though a landing from Melanesia cannot be ruled out. Why there was no population on Norfolk at the time of its discovery by Cook in 1774 remains unanswered, but the answer probably lies in a range of factors. Further progress on understanding the islands prehistory requires the location and excavation of in situ deposits.