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Oceania
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Map of Oceania - AD 1100-1520
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Events
AD 1100
Around this time statues erected on platforms in Easter Island
AD 1100
Around this time organised societies develop in the Hawaiian Islands
AD 1100
Around this time Polynesians reach Pitcairn Island
AD 1150
Around this time Maoris begin to settle in the river mouth areas in the north of the South Island, New Zealand
AD 1200
Around this time, on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei, work begins on the massive megalithic city of Nan Madol
AD 1200
Polynesians settle Rekohu (the Chatham Islands) east of New Zealand
AD 1200
Hawaii is colonised again, by people from Tahiti
AD 1250
Beginnings of intensive valley irrigation schemes in Hawaiian Islands
AD 1300
Hawaiian peoples start to develop class structure as a result of economic growth through agriculture
AD 1300
Around this time stone temple complexes are erected on Rarotonga, Cook Islands, and on Moorea Island in the Society Islands
AD 1300
Huge stone statues erected on Easter Island
AD 1350
Legendary leader Roy Mata is active in the islands of central Vanuatu
AD 1350
First terrace-type fortifications built on North Island, New Zealand
AD 1400
Over the next 100 years, production of moai (stone figures) on Easter Island reaches its height
AD 1400
Around this time Tonga people build major ceremonial centre at Mu'a, on the largest island in the Tongatapu Group, South Pacific Ocean
AD 1400
Widespread cultivation of wet taro in Hawaiian islands
AD 1450
Art and rituals of the 'birdman' religion on Easter Island begin to develop
AD 1500
Around this time a village of oval stone houses is built on Easter Island
AD 1500
Pottery ceases to be made on the Caroline Islands
AD 1511
Portuguese navigators begin to explore the Pacific
AD 1513
Vasco de Balboa claims Pacific Ocean, and all islands it touches, for Spain
AD 1520
Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan enters the Pacific
Oceania

AD 1100-1520

Contacts between Indigenous Australians and the sea-trading Makassans of Indonesia continued during this period. Chinese explorers travelled throughout the South China Sea and Southeast Asia, near to Australia from the beginning of the 15th century AD, and may have visited the coast. Both Arab and Chinese accounts mention Southern Lands. There is some evidence that the Portuguese discovered northern Australia in about 1528.

In Polynesia this was a time of increasing population density and the rise of chiefly lineages in places like Tonga, Samoa, the Society Islands and Hawaii, this was in part connected to a rise in warfare on and between islands. There was also increasing complexity and elaboration of religious practice with the construction of religious centres, some very significant architectural achievements. On Easter Island (Rapa Nui) between 1000-1500, most of the island’s huge stone statues (moai) were produced, as part of the construction of religious sites. Sometime before 1200 the Maori of New Zealand colonised the Chatham Islands (about 800 km east of New Zealand). This was the probably the final landfall in the Polynesian expansion across the Pacific.

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