The Origins of Monumental Architecture in Ancient Hawai'i
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At the time of European contact in AD 1778, chiefs in the Hawaiian archipelago had implemented a temple network that helped reaffirm an ideology of kingship, feudalize land ownership, impose ritual control over labor and production, and facilitate internecine warfare over territory. A corpus of 90 14C dates from 40 temples on the island of Maui indicates that this temple system originated AD 1200 and developed over four phases that correlate with some general sociopolitical trends distilled from ethnohistory. An important shift in temple construction and use is noted for AD 14521625, a time of island unification and changing land tenure practices. Overall, temple development follows a cycle of construction and use characteristic of incipient state development, coinciding with distinct periods of political tension when it was important to encourage and control social allegiances.