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Twilight Millenium

  • Date Submitted: 11/08/2011 04:23 AM
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TWILIGHT MILLENIUM
HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE TWILIGHT MILLENIUM - BASED ON AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY PROFESSOR I. CAMPBELL.

THESE ARE SOME CHANGES THAT TOOK PLACE DURING THAT PERIOD

CHANGES DURING THE ‘TWILIGHT MILLENIUM’

Ian Campbell refers to the ‘twilight millenium’ as the period from 1000AD to 1800 AD, an era of eight hundred years . This period underwent major climatic changes which influenced the social, political and economical activities of the Pacific islanders. Changes in sea levels, temperature and new ideas gathered from inter-island voyaging transformed the Pacific way of life to one of economic intensification, social and political restructuring that marked the supremacy of powerful chiefs.

A number of economic changes took place in this millenium. The most notable was the shift from the reliance on sea to land resources, mainly on agriculture for sustenance. This resulted as the reef and marine resources showed signs of over-exploitation and damage to sea-level rise and natural hazards. This forced people to move inland and focus on agricultural activties. It was during this period that terracing of hill sides and the construction of irrigation channels to control water supplies was widely adopted. These inland settlements in mountain landscapes as noted by Campbell were found in Fiji, Vanuatu and other Pacific islands.
Campbell also identified some extraordinary political changes during this ‘millenium’. Powerful chiefs took control of larger territories and population and brought them under their control. Campbell cites Tonga as an example of major political restructuring taken place in the ‘twilight millenium’. This intensification process took place as larger workforce was needed for agricultural works and for engaging in war against neighbours as there was an increase in warfare throughout this period. In many Melanesian and Polynesian islands buildings and hills were fortified. In Fiji, the Malua hill forts date back to 1305AD . These...

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