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'Old Stones for Cash'. The acquisition history of the Pitcairn stone tool collection in Auckland Museum

By Louise Furey and Emma Ash
pp. 1–17


Auckland Museum has approximately 20,000 stone tools from Pitcairn Island in the south east Pacific Ocean. Indisputably it is the largest collection from the island held in any museum. The history of the acquisitions in the 1930s–1940s from residents on the island will be explored and put in the context of the disruptions in the Pacific during World War II and the acquisitive aspirations of Auckland Museum. Correspondence in Museum archives provided a comprehensive record of the acquisitions, some of which have not been catalogued. The collection is an understudied assemblage from a technological, geological and functional perspective, just as the history of Polynesian occupation of the remote island is largely unknown. The assemblage is placed in the context of the known archaeology of the island.

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Furey, Louise and Emma Ash (2020). 'Old Stones for Cash'. The acquisition history of the Pitcairn stone tool collection in Auckland Museum.

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