18 Apr 2024

Signs of Tongan urbanisation dating back almost 2000 years

From , 6:00 am on 18 April 2024
Ha'amonga 'a Maui site in Tonga.

Ha'amonga 'a Maui site in Tonga. Photo: tripadvisor

Research released by a doctoral student at the Australia National University shows large, low-density, urbanised settlements existed in Tonga nearly two thousand years ago.

This is about a thousand years earlier than previously thought.

Lead researcher, Phillip Parton says the present-day village of Mu'a in Tongatapu was the largest site and was once home to dozens of large stoneworks and raised homes for over several thousand people.

He told RNZ Pacific's Don Wiseman about the discovery.