Long before the arrival of European explorers, an intrepid seafaring people discovered and settled nearly every inhabitable island throughout the vast Pacific Ocean, from New Zealand to Easter Island and Hawaii.
Based on the latest archaeological evidence, Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, examines how, why, and when Polynesian navigators ventured out into the forbidding seas to find new lands. He also looks at how their societies variously developed on different islands, while still retaining cultural and linguistic affinities long after the cessation of such long-distance voyages.
Jacobs is the author of several books, including The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures. He recently completed a 24-episode series on UNESCO World Heritage Sites for The Great Courses and is currently conducting research on the voyages of Captain Cook in the Pacific.
Justin Jacobs is also lecturing on this maritime topic in March 2022:
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