OCEANIA

PREHISTORIC ARCHITECTURE

           

 
Like giant footsteps across the islands of Oceania, our prehistoric forefathers left behind some very imposing architectural creations to mark their passing. From the most western islands of Micronesia, throughout Melanesia and the far-flung islands of Polynesia through to distant Easter Island there remain vast monuments to the passing of prehistoric man.
 
 
No site in Oceania surpasses the dramatic beauty of ancient Nan Madol, perched on the very edge of the vast Pacific Ocean. Situated on the east coast of Pohnpei, the elite administrative and ceremonial centre grew, flourished, and declined during the centuries preceding western contact.
 
     
 
Here, in a shallow lagoon, the ancient Pohnpeians constructed a magnificent complex of 92 artificial islets inter-connected by a network of waterways. Today, the islets are mostly covered by dense jungle growth, and the waterways are largely chocked with mangrove swamps. Even in their present state, the megalithic ruins of Nan Madol are present-day reminders of the splendid achievements of the pre-historic people of Micronesia.
 

Monumental sculptured hills rise majestically above
 the dense forest southeast of Ngchemiangel Bay, Palau.
 
The awe-inspiring sculpture of Odalmelech stares
mutely towards the sea east of Melekeok Village, Palau.
For more information about Palau: http://www.janeresture.com/palau/Palau.htm

The Tahitian temple of Arahurahu.
For more information about Tahiti please visit:
http://www.janeresture.com/tahitihome/tahiti.htm

Necker Island in the Hawaiian Chain possesses the above large edifices
 which are understood to have been placed there by early Polynesian voyagers.
For more information on Necker Island please visit the following Web site: http://www.janeresture.com/necker/index.htm

Pyramid at The Lost City of Mu'a, Tonga.
For more information on Tonga, please visit:
http://www.janeresture.com/tonga_home/index.htm

The building of the ancient capital of Mu'a must have begun many thousands of years ago when the island was slightly lower in relation to the ocean and the lagoon. Tonga has risen about a metre over the last few thousand years and such constructions as the wharf and the canals of the ancient city of Mu'a were rendered useless. This is quite possibly the reason for the abandonment of the ancient city of Mu'a.

Prehistoric remains, Tinian Islands, Micronesia.

The Tahitian pyramid temple of Mahaiatea.

Ha'amonga-a-maui.

 Tradition has it that one of the early sacred Kings of Tonga named Tuitatui who ruled in approximately 1200 AD was responsible for the building of this Trilithon. The period must have been one of great power and prosperity to enable the construction of such a lasting monument.

There had been a great deal of speculation about the purpose of the Ha'amonga. Some people believed that it was a gateway to a royal compound while others speculated that it bore a resemblance to the ancient Celtic monuments of Stonehenge.

In May 1976, King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV advanced a theory that the notch carved on the top lintel may have some significance in the ancient lunar calendar. The King was present on the shortest day 21st February, 1997 when the morning sun rose and the bearings taken matched perfectly with the Tropic of Cancer while a similar bearing taken on the longest day matched the Tropic of Capricorn. This would appear to confirm that the two points do in fact mark the position of the rising sun on the shortest and longest days of the year. In short, this construction was used in ancient times to determine the seasons of the year.

The ancient langi Tauhala at Mu'a.

Probably the largest block of stone used in construction
 of the pyramids of Mu'a, it is curiously notched into the block on its right.
This used slab of beach  rock has been split by an earthquake since this photograph was taken in 1900.

The huge statues on Easter Island stand in mute testimony to the
 skills and fortitude of the ancient Polynesian people of Easter Island.
 
Click Here Mysterious Nan Madol         
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(E-mail:  jane@janeresture.com -- Rev. 1st December 2008)