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November 8 2012

First Polynesians Arrived in Tonga 2,800 Years Ago


The first Polynesian settlers sailed to Tonga between 2,830 and 2,846 years ago, according to new research.

The findings, published Nov. 7 in the journal PLoS One, relied on ultraprecise dating of coral tools found at Tonga's first settlement.

"The technique provides us with unbelievable precision in dating quite ancient materials," said David Burley, a co-author of the study and an archaeologist at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. "This stuff is almost 3,000 years old, and the date range is within 16 years.".

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