Journal article

Bayesian Modeling and Chronological Precision for Polynesian Settlement of Tonga

David Burley, Kevan Edinborough, Marshall Weisler, Jian-xin Zhao



First settlement of Polynesia, and population expansion throughout the ancestral Polynesian homeland are foundation events for global history. A precise chronology is paramount to informed archaeological interpretation of these events and their consequences. Recently applied chronometric hygiene protocols excluding radiocarbon dates on wood charcoal without species identification all but eliminates this chronology as it has been built for the Kingdom of Tonga, the initial islands to be settled in Polynesia. In this paper we re-examine and redevelop this chronology through application of Bayesian models to the questioned suite of radiocarbon dates, but also incorporating short-lived wood char..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Awarded by Australia Research Council

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grants 410-2009-2700 and 435-2013-0566 to Burley Australia Research Council Grant DP0986542 to Weisler and Australian Research Council Grant LE0989067 to Shao, Weisler and others . The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.