Human Skeletal Evidence of Polynesian Presence in South America? Metric Analyses of Six Crania from Mocha Island, Chile

  • Elizabeth Matisoo-Smith Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago, PO Box 913, Dunedin.
  • Jose-Miguel Ramirez Rapa Nui Studies Centre, Institute of History and Social Sciences, University of Valparaíso, Viña del Mar.
Keywords: craniometric analyses, Polynesian prehistory, voyaging, trans-Pacific contact, South America

Abstract

In 2007 the discovery of pre-Columbian chicken bones from Chile provided the first conclusive evidence for prehistoric Polynesian contact with South America. When looking for further commensal data to address the issue of trans-Pacific contacts, we found a museum collection of human remains recovered from Mocha Island, a small island located approximately 30 km off the Chilean coast. The morphology of the crania suggests they may be of Polynesian ancestry. Here we present craniometric analyses for the six complete crania from Mocha Island, Chile and discuss the implications for further research into prehistoric trans-Pacific interaction.
How to Cite
Matisoo-Smith, E. and Ramirez, J.-M. (1) “Human Skeletal Evidence of Polynesian Presence in South America? Metric Analyses of Six Crania from Mocha Island, Chile”, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 1(1), pp. 76-88. Available at: https://pacificarchaeology.org/index.php/journal/article/view/11 (Accessed: 23July2019).
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Articles