The accepted view of each Hawaiian Island as an autonomous and self sufficient community has been severely disturbed by new research presented at the Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences web site on December, 26, 2011.
A geochemical analysis of stone tools found on the island of Maui indicate origins from other islands. The findings lead the researchers to conclude there was much more interisland exchange of tools and weapons than the standard model considered. This exchange could have been facilitated by organized trade between islands or as a result of interisland war and territorial aggression.
The analysis focused on the zirconium and strontium content of basaltic rock on all the islands in Hawaii. Differences in content are sufficient to make a conclusion possible even though the islands may all have originated from the same volcanic source.
Another prominent theory bites the dust in 2011.
Inter-polity exchange of basalt tools facilitated via elite control in Hawaiian archaic states
Patrick V. Kirch a,1, Peter R. Mills b, Steven P. Lundblad c, John Sinton d, and Jennifer G. Kahn e
aDepartments of Anthropology and Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720; bDepartment of Anthropology, University of Hawai‘i, Hilo, HI 96720; cDepartment of Geology, University of Hawai‘i, Hilo, HI 96720; dDepartment of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822; and eDepartment of Anthropology, Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI 96817