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12 December 2018

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“Bougainville, which has closer ethnic links to the Solomon Islands than Papua New Guinea…. ”

This is contested in an excellent historical article on Bougainville by Jane Resture:

“The first humans to set foot on Bougainville-Buka, some 28,000 years ago, came from the northwest - either directly, from southeastern New Ireland or, more probably, by stages from there via the Feni and Nissan Islands.

"The present open-sea distances between New Ireland and Buka, via Feni and Nissan, are no wider than 72 kilometres.

"Their coasts may have been even closer during the Pleistocene period, when the sea level throughout this area had been lowered appreciably as a result of the impounding of much of the earth's waters in vast continental ice sheets.

"But even 72-kilometre stretches of ocean were well within the seafaring range of these pioneers: their canoes were certainly seaworthy enough, and the inter-island distances sere within visibility range (Lewis 1972)."
http://www.janesoceania.com/bougainville_history/index.htm

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