Health and Disease in the Prehistoric Pacific Islands

Hallie Buckley


This book is an historical document presenting the author's doctoral thesis on health and disease in the Pacific Islands, completed in 2001. The study was conducted using a sample from the Solomon Islands in Melanesia and another sample from two burial mounds in Tonga, Polynesia. The primary aim of the study was to assess whether the presence of malaria in Melanesia adversely affected the overall health of these people compared to the Polynesian group, where malaria has always been absent. The Pacific islands are often forgotten when considering global issues of health and subsistence change. However, this region has much to offer with regard to understanding human adaptation to different environments during and after colonisation and the biosocial responses to disease. One of the main drivers for publishing this volume after all this time is an attempt to give this region more of a voice in global discussions of health and disease in prehistory.