New data reveals major impact of European contact with Pacific islands — ScienceDaily

Pacific island nations suffered severe depopulation from introduced diseases as a result of contact with European ships, new research from the Australian National University (ANU) shows.

The study, published in Journal of Archaeological Scienceshows that the population decline is much greater than previously thought.

According to the study, the main island of Tonga experienced a population decline of between 70-86 percent after Europeans made contact.

Researchers from ANU’s School of Culture, History and Language, PhD student Philip Parton and future ARC Fellow Geoffrey Clarke found that there were between 100,000-120,000 people in Tonga before European contact.

“My co-author and I used aerial laser scanning data to map residences on the main island of Tonga and then used archaeological data I collected as part of my PhD to estimate the population,” Mr Parton said.

“This improved understanding of the past has allowed us to show a significant population decline from 50,000-60,000 to 10,000 over a 50-year period on the main island of Tongatapu in the Kingdom of Tonga.

“Since this number is much larger than anything anyone had previously considered, I used shipping data and missionaries to verify my predictions and found them to be plausible.

“Obviously, this shows a major overestimation of the impact of globalization in the 19th century.

“As in many parts of the world, Pacific island populations suffered severe post-contact declines when Europeans introduced new pathogens.”

The study was published in Journal of Archaeological Science.

Pacific island nations suffered severe depopulation from introduced diseases as a result of contact with European ships, new research from the Australian National University (ANU) shows.

The study, published in Journal of Archaeological Scienceshows that the population decline is much greater than previously thought.

According to the study, the main island of Tonga experienced a population decline of between 70-86 percent after Europeans made contact.

Researchers from ANU’s School of Culture, History and Language, PhD student Philip Parton and future ARC Fellow Geoffrey Clarke found that there b

The study, published in Journal of Archaeological Scienceshows that the population decline is much greater than previously thought.

According to the study, the main island of Tonga experienced a population decline of between 70-86 percent after Europeans made contact.

Researchers from ANU’s School of Culture, History and Language, PhD student Philip Parton and future ARC Fellow Geoffrey Clarke found that there were between 100,000-120,000 people in Tonga before European contact.

“My co-author and I used aerial laser scanning data to map residences on the main island of Tonga and then used archaeological data I collected as part of my PhD to estimate the population,” Mr Parton said.

“This improved understanding of the past has allowed us to show a significant population decline from 50,000-60,000 to 10,000 over a 50-year period on the main island of Tongatapu in the Kingdom of Tonga.

“Since this number is much larger than anything anyone had previously considered, I used shipping data and missionaries to verify my predictions and found them to be plausible.

“Obviously, this shows a major overestimation of the impact of globalization in the 19th century.

“As in many parts of the world, Pacific island populations suffered severe post-contact declines when Europeans introduced new pathogens.”

The study was published in Journal of Archaeological Science.

Pacific island nations suffered severe depopulation from introduced diseases as a result of contact with European ships, new research from the Australian National University (ANU) shows.

The study, published in Journal of Archaeological Scienceshows that the population decline is much greater than previously thought.

According to the study, the main island of Tonga experienced a population decline of between 70-86 percent after Europeans made contact.

Researchers from ANU’s School of Culture, History and Language, PhD student Philip Parton and future ARC Fellow Geoffrey Clarke found that there were between 100,000-120,000 people in Tonga before European contact.

“My co-author and I used aerial laser scanning data to map residences on the main island of Tonga and then used archaeological data I collected as part of my PhD to estimate the population,” Mr Parton said.

“This improved understanding of the past has allowed us to show a significant population decline from 50,000-60,000 to 10,000 over a 50-year period on the main island of Tongatapu in the Kingdom of Tonga.

“Since this number is much larger than anything anyone had previously considered, I used shipping and missionary data to test my predictions and found them to be plausible.

“Obviously, this shows a major overestimation of the impact of globalization in the 19th century.

“As in many parts of the world, Pacific island populations suffered severe post-contact declines when Europeans introduced new pathogens.”

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