November 8, 2012
First Polynesian Settlements Revealed With Coral Files
Public Library of Science
High-precision techniques estimate first settlers arrived in Tonga almost 2,900 years ago
To arrive at this precise figure, the researchers used a high-precision technique to estimate the age of coral files that early settlers used to sculpt and smooth wood and shell surfaces. As Dr. Burley states, "This degree of precision is impossible using radiocarbon and other dating techniques. It provides significant new opportunities for our understanding of the exploration and settlement of the far distant islands spread across the South Pacific."
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