Coral files reveal arrival time of first Polynesians in Tonga

11/8/2012 | LiveScience.com

Ultraprecise dating of coral files found in the Nukuleka village in Tongatapu, Tonga, revealed that the Lapita people, first Polynesian settlers, sailed to Tonga between 2,830 and 2,846 years ago. The dating method used radioactive uranium instead of radioactive carbon. "The technique provides us with unbelievable precision in dating quite ancient materials," said David Burley, co-author of the study, which appeared in the journal PLoS One. "This stuff is almost 3,000 years old, and the date range is within 16 years."

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