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December 20 , 2007

Prehistoric Architecture in Micronesia


In the many centuries preceding Western contact, a richly diverse and innovative architectural tradition reached maturity in the western Pacific. Prehistoric Architecture in Micronesia, the first modern study of this remarkable work, reveals that there is no such thing as primitive architecture but only primitive means.This study presents five distinctly different examples of Micronesia's ancient architecture. The sites include the extraordinary stone cities of Leluh and Nan Madol on the islands of Kosrae and Pohnpei, respectively. Other structures include the meeting houses and residences built on hexagonal stone platforms in the Yap Islands, the earth terraces and ornately decorated meeting houses of Palau, and the megalithic columns and capstones of prehistoric houses in the Mariana Islands.These structures are illustrated by photographs, maps, plans, and other drawings. Many of the basic data come from archaeological investigations of the specific sites. Summaries at the ends of chapters and in the concluding section compare the architectural characteristics of the island groups with each other and with monuments outside Micronesia. One of the most remarkable achievements of any ancient people, the prehistoric architecture of Micronesia is a source of continuing inspiration for persons who search for meaning in the built form of our present-day environment.
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