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    Abstract

    Mangarevan Archæology IN the course of the expedition to the Mangarevan Islands of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, under Dr. Peter H. Buck in 1934, an archseological survey of sites on Mangareva itself as well as of stone structures on neighbouring atolls was made by Kenneth P. Emory (Bull.163, Bernice P. Bishop Mus. 1939). Owing to the use of the stone for building by missionaries all important structures in the Mangarevan group have now disappeared; but fortunately the stone structures left by the Mangarevan inhabitants of Temoe atoll, 25 miles to the southeast, are intact. Here the largest structure is a platform 21 feet wide and 58 ft. long. It has an unenclosed court on the inland side extending 30 feet from the face of the platform. Across the court face are two high steps. The largest structures in Temoe had burials in small vaults at the top. In two maraes, open vaults at ground level are larger and more carefully constructed than the vaults containing burials. These, it has been reported, were considered the dwelling-place of the god of the marae. The nearest parallels to the Mangarevan maraes are certain image ahu of Easter Island, in which the platform is stepped on the court side, and at the top of which burials were made. The Easter Islanders added images of stone along the back of the platform. Probably the features shared by the Mangarevan and Easter Island structures had a common origin, possibly original features of Marquesan culture with which both Mangareva and Easter Island exhibit affinities, but which evidently have been modified in the Marquesan, where sacred structures are not uniform, nor of the type of Mangarevan and Easter Island sanctuaries. However, like the Easter Islanders the Marquesans set up large images on their sacred structures; but the Mangarevans lacked both the timber and the tuff which would have permitted the making of such images.

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    Research Items. Nature 145, 392–393 (1940). https://doi.org/10.1038/145392a0

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