Tonga one the centre of a vast Pacific trading empire - archaeologists | Pacific Beat

Tonga one the centre of a vast Pacific trading empire - archaeologists

Tonga one the centre of a vast Pacific trading empire - archaeologists

Updated 18 July 2014, 9:32 AEST

After eight years of research, a team of archaeologists have reached the conclusion that Tonga was once at the centre of a vast trading empire stretching over some half a million square kilometres in the Pacific.

It appears that Tonga's maritime empire served as a hub through which prehistoric people exchanged products and political ideas.

The archaeologists, including Dr Geoff Clark from the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University in Canberra, have based their findings on the geochemical analysis of stone tools excavated from places central to the Tongan seat of power.

And that analysis has revealed that about two-thirds of the tools were imported from Fiji, Samoa and the Society Islands in French Polynesia.

Presenter: Richard Ewart

Speaker: Dr Geoff Clark, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

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