Stones of the Butterfly: Archaeological Investigation of Yapese Stone Money Quarries in Palau, Micronesi

The Bozeman Society of the Archaeological Institute of America Lecture Series features “Stones of the Butterfly: Archaeological Investigation of Yapese Stone Money Quarries in Palau, Micronesia” on Tuesday, Sept. 27. 

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The Bozeman Society of the Archaeological Institute of America Lecture Series features “Stones of the Butterfly: Archaeological Investigation of Yapese Stone Money Quarries in Palau, Micronesia” on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Dr. Scott M. Fitzpatrick, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Oregon, will highlight the importance stone money had in Micronesian inter-island exchange systems.

For centuries, peoples from the island of Yap in the western Pacific voyaged southward to the Palauan archipelago to quarry their famous stone money in limestone caves. The limestone disks are up to 4.5 m in diameter and weigh over eight metric tons. The carving and transport of these massive objects remains one of the most archaeologically dramatic and least understood instances of “portable” artifact exchange in the Pacific. Fitzpatrick will explore how this money was carved and transported by ocean-going canoes over 400 km.

The lecture is Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. in the Procrastinator Theater in the Strand Union Building on Montana State University’s Campus. This lecture is free and open to the public.

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