Lapita Civilization

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The Americas and the Pacific Islands were home to several ancient civilizations such whose remnants that underwent similar developments. The Olmecs of Mexico were a major cultural site based in Mesoamerica. The Caral-Supe of Peru is arguably the oldest civilization in the Americas and archeologist have only recently discovered various clues about the civilization. Lastly, the Lapita Culture in the Pacific Islands spread throughout the newly inhabited islands of the Pacific which demanded the constant navigation of the sea. Each of these civilizations share similar social structures and developments despite of the large distance between them. The Olmecs of Mexico lived in the tropical Gulf of Mexico, where its civilization enjoyed rich …show more content…
The Lapita culture became the focal point of the colonization of the islands of Polynesia, Micronesia, and parts of Melanesia (von Sivers, Desnoyers, and Stow 142). A major component of the Lapita culture was navigation of the sea, which was facilitated by the development of large sail and paddle driven canoes (von Sivers, Desnoyers, and Stow 143). Additionally, the lengthy voyage required storable crops such as Yam and Taro which sustain voyagers on long trips (von Sivers, Desnoyers, and Stow 143). As with the Olmec and Caral-Supe, the Lapita culture was engaged in extensive trade throughout South East Asia (von Sivers, Desnoyers, and Stow 143). As the Lapita sailors travelled eastward, Fiji became the source of culture that led to the colonization of the Polynesian islands. The centralization of the Lapita culture soon became apparent as the power of local chiefs extended to nearby islands (von Sivers, Desnoyers, and Stow 143). The Lapita were similar to the Olmec and Caral-Supe with their agricultural success, and centralization however sustaining a growing population among the small islands (von Sivers, Desnoyers, and Stow

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