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The Current Debate on the Existence of Prehistoric Sweet Potato in Polynesia: A Deconstruction of a Problem and Reshaping of the Question
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2014 (English)In: Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki in New Light / [ed] Ingjerd Hoëm, Larvik: Thor Heyerdahl Institute , 2014, 94-105 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The sweet potato, and its origin, taken as evidence strongly supported Thor Heyerdahl in his arguments that South American Indians found their way out in the Pacific already in prehistoric times. Furthermore, it has been used for decades by other researchers concerning the fact that there must have been some kind of prehistoric contact between the Pacific Islands and South America. This paper will discuss the current state of this issue. Arguments will be deconstructed and the use of the sweet potato as an evidence of contact will be reshaped and viewed in the light of the present research dealing with this famous contact “problem”. The question that should be asked at present is not just what people did with the sweet potato, but also what the sweet potato did to the people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Larvik: Thor Heyerdahl Institute , 2014. 94-105 p.
, The Kon-Tiki Museum Occasiona Papers, ISSN 0802-6491 ; 14
Keyword [en]
Pacific Archaeology, Archaeobotany, Sweet Potato
National Category
History and Archaeology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-237946ISBN: 978-82-92967-05-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-237946DiVA: diva2:769452
Available from: 2014-12-08 Created: 2014-12-08 Last updated: 2015-05-05Bibliographically approved

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Wallin, Paul
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