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A functional analysis of coral tools from late prehistoric Moloka'i Island, Hawaii

Archaeology Humanities Arts and Social Science (HASS) Aquaculture Fishing Hawaii

1.1 Research OrientationDuring the course of archaeological fieldwork conducted late in 1978, 425 artifacts relating to fishhook manufacture were recovered from site 38 on Moloka'i Island in the Hawaiian chain. Fishhook manufacturing artifacts include Porities sp coral and echinoid urchin spine abraders, basalt flakes, bone fishhook blanks and bone fishhook debitage. Artifacts deemed coral abraders (precise definition will be given in a latter section) were studied from this site and will be the focus of this dissertation. It is generally believed that coral abraders were used to manufacture fishhooks for the following reasons:1) Coral artifacts have been found in close association with fishhook manufacture (Emory, Bonk and Sinoto and Sinoto, 1959, Allen, 1992; Suggs 1961; Kirch and Yen 1982 and Buck 1957: and many others).2) Early ethnographic accounts recorded in the journals of Captain James Cook by Joseph banks (Endeavor botanist), describe native Pacific islanders manufacturing fishhooks using coral files (Hawkesworth, 1773).3) Use-wear analysis by Allen (1992) indicates that a large number of these tools may have been used to manufacture fishhooks.This dissertation as two main aims:1) To form a classification system (non-classificatory arrangement; after Dunnel, 1971) for the purpose of ascertaining a functional to coral tools in relation to fishhook manufacture.2) To devise a standardised system for the measurement of attributes on coral abraders that may aid future functional studies .Chapter one will set the scene, giving details regarding the background of the site under investigation. A definition and basic description of coral tools will be provided along with a review of the literature regarding coral artifacts.Chapter two is divided into two parts. The first part involves a brief review of the literature on classification systems and typology's. Also in the first section, a justification will be given as to why the particular classification system was used. The second half of chapter two will involve a justification of attributes chosen to form the classification system. The third chapter involves a description of the methods used in measuring attributes and why these attributes were measured in this manor. This will be followed with a detailed description of each artifact class. Each class description will be accompanied with possible functions. The last chapter will be brief, involving conclusions and suggestions for future research.[extract from Introduction]

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