Journal of World Prehistory

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 337–392

Tongan Archaeology and the Tongan Past, 2850–150 B.P.

  • David V. Burley

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022322303769

Cite this article as:
Burley, D.V. Journal of World Prehistory (1998) 12: 337. doi:10.1023/A:1022322303769


Archaeological research in the Kingdom of Tonga has documented a continuous sequence of human settlement, adaptation, and change for the period 2850–150 B.P. Tongan culture history is synthesized using a four phase chronology that includes an Early Eastern Lapita Ceramic Period, a Polynesian Plain Ware Ceramic Period, an aceramic Formative Development Period, and a Complex Centralized Chiefdom Period. Beyond description of the archaeological record for this chronology, discussions center on a history of archaeological research in the Kingdom, a review of complementary data sources and approaches that inform upon the Tongan past, and an examination of Tongan data within the broader framework of Fijian/Western Polynesian prehistory. Problems and challenges for future archaeological studies in Tonga are identified as a conclusion.


Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David V. Burley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada