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Maori and Polynesian: their origin, history and culture

The Culture of Polynesia points back to Palaeolithic — Times

The Culture of Polynesia points back to Palaeolithic

(4) But there are elements in the culture of Polynesia that indicate a much greater antiquity of human occupation than the beginning of the copper age. We need not rely merely on the mixture of palaeolithic with neolithic stone culture. Rough chipped flints have been used not only in New Zealand, but all over Polynesia, for many ages alongside of highly polished weapons. But this is not peculiar to the region. These flakes of flint, chert, and obsidian were as effective in their cutting edge as the most finely ground greenstone; and they could be manufactured by a single skilful blow, whilst the polished weapon took months and sometimes years of labour. They continued to be made and used therefore till late in neolithic times, if not into the copper and bronze ages. The use of these palaeolithic implements alone is no proof then of the greater antiquity of the stone culture of a region.

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(5) There are, however, arts and industries that point back to the earliest palaeolithic times, which in Europe are separated from our times by from fifty to a hundred and fifty thousand years, as evidenced by the flint flakes found in the Somme valley and other parts of the West. One of the special marks of that time and stage of culture is the complete absence of pottery. No fragment of it has ever been found in the deposits that contain the traces of palaeolithic man.