BOOK REVIEWS On the Road of the Winds: An Archaeological History of the Paci®c Islands before European Contact. Patrick Vinton Kirch. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. xxii 424 pp.; illustrations, maps, tables. Hardcover. ISBN: 0-520-22347-0. Reviewed by J. Peter White, University of Sydney, Australia If I had been asked to predict the kind of synthesis Pat Kirch would write, it would have matched On the Road of the Winds pretty closely. Scholarly? Very much so, with up-todate (1999 included!) references into most Paci®c nooks, a generous appreciation of major discoveries from New Guinea to Hawai`iÐand with a title and approach lineally descended from Peter Buck. Readable? Undoubtedly, with persuasive accounts of areas and times, often enlivened by the personal reminiscences of a widely experienced researcher. Holistic? Yes. Kirch believes strongly in the reconcilability of linguistics, human biology, ethnography, oral history, and archaeology in much of Paci®c prehistory. The book is certainly primarily archaeological, but all disciplines come into play at various places. Grandly synthetic? Indeed, emphasizing where he can aspects such as settlement patterns, economic systems and their intensi®cation, palaeoenvironmental indications of land use and misuse (p. 11). The end result of this, as he admits, skews
Asian Perspectives – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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