Oceania 200 BCE

A distinctive Polynesian culture is now evolving.

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What is happening in Oceania in 200BCE


The inhabitants of Tonga, Fiji and Samoa are developing intensive trading relations, which will, over several centuries, lead to the emergence of a common Polynesian culture in these islands.

Technological losses

This culture is marked by some significant losses in technology, as well as some remarkable gains. There is a gradual disappearance of pottery and of the weaving loom. This must have been linked to a reduction in the Pacific Islanders dependence upon rice and millet, and a growing dependence upon tropical plants such as taro and bananas, as well as upon fish and meat. Pottery is useful for carrying cereal grains, but much less so in the new conditions of the tropical Pacific.

Technological gains

In place of textiles the islanders increasingly use bark cloth. In this they develop high levels of skill, but weaving looms are not relevant to the process.

Above all, the Polynesians develop further their boat building and navigation techniques, and later Polynesian societies were to produce sophisticated stone implements, elaborate irrigation systems, palisaded earthwork fortifications and monumental stone art.

Next map, Oceania in 30 BCE

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