Wednesday, October 04, 2006

a few words about Pacific archaeology

hi everybody, a few words about myself before i start : my full name is Mickaelle-Hinanui Cauchois, i'm archaeologist, i'm from Tahiti, actually no, from Moorea, i live in Honolulu now, i'm doing my PhD in anthropology at UH Manoa and i'm working on my comps (comprehensive exam for the neophytes) which is the main reason why i decided to create that blog.
je m'explique (oh yeah, when i get tired, my brain gets lazy so i tend to speak more french), let me go straight to the point before i disgress (Marcel Proust being my favorite writer, when you hear disgression, be afraid...very afraid) : i created that blog because i didn't find any specific about Pacific archaeology, it's as simple as that (if someone did one already, he/she has the right to email me that i was wrong, oops, sorry).
I love what i'm doing and since i'm sick of responding to the same question with the same boring answer : Pacific archaeology, i thought that maybe there must be a way
1/ to transcend the craziness of the comps
2/ to talk about that damn Pacific archaeology in a more entertaining way for now, i have dozens of articles/books to read for that exam and they just make me sick, not their content, just the fact of having to swallow them one by one like Spam cans or uncooked corned-beef (punu pua'atoro in tahitian for the pan-pacific gourmets).
i love punu pua'atoro and Spam (euh, well, it depends which one...) but let's face it : if they are not cooked properly, they are just gross.
Same thing with that never-ending blabla about archaeology of the Pacific ; when you read article after article after book, you get lost in translation and on the way, you feel like you're navigating with too many maps (which feels like no map at all at the end of the day..). these readings are just like Spam and punu pua'atoro, when they are not swallowed properly, they become very boring.
now, let's move from the kitchen to the wall for a little bit of geography. i certainly won't lecture you about the geography of the region (thank you, just define the "boundaries" of what we define by Pacific archaeology : it is supposed to encompass the archaeology of Melanesia/Micronesia/Polynesia , however i have to confess that i am much more focusing on "polynesian" archaeology even if i'm interested in the entire area.
If i find something interesting that relates the story of why our Pacific region was divided into these three entities by Dumont D'Urville in 1835 (if my memory is good), i promise that i'll post it.
Chronologically speaking, it goes from whenever the ancestors of my ancestors entered the Pacific area (around B.P. 50,000 for the oldest ones until the contact with Europeans (end of 18th century for most of Polynesia) and slightly after.
However, my broad interests (time and space) are more concentrated on the span between the "end" of the Lapita expansion in Western Polynesia (Samoa/Tonga area around B.C 1500/1300) and the colonization of Eastern Polynesia (still highly controversial even if it is getting better), especially the central part of it : Society Islands, Tuamotus, Marquesas, name it : what is today French Polynesia.
What happened within the Polynesian triangle is fascinating, especially when one knows that there much more questions than answers so far.
for the purpose of that blog, i'll try to gather some informations about what's going on (articles/news/gossips..) and to share some ideas about what i'm reading for my comps and how it relates to the big questions/controversies of Pacific archaeology.
ok, i have to go for now, if you haven't fallen asleep yet, good for you and see you later, nana..
ps : i know, i need to put some pictures and maps, soon.....

1 comment:

Tamara said...

Ia ora na Hinanui
alors un premier petit mot pour saluer ce blog et cette initiative. Je suis prête à t'envoyer photos et actualités archéologiques dans la mesure du possible (notre internet est très archéologique, pardon, archaïque ici...).
A propos (je passe à l'anglais !) you talk about this artificial separation between melanesia/micronesia/polynesia, this question seems to be actuality as this will be the subject of colloque in 2007 at Fiji. Our archaeologists' colleagues will inform us at time... A bientôt, et encore bravo !