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Introduction - Why Implementology?

     Implementology developed out of my interest in the material culture of Polynesia that started about 25 years ago as a sort of hobby, collecting stone tools on the island of Tubuai in French Polynesia. As the collection grew so to my interest and eventually I was committed to thoroughly researching stone tools and Polynesian prehistory. In this cause I sought the advice of archaeologists, many of whom, to my surprise, showed a distinct lack of interest in hand collected surface artifacts as opposed to those found in an archaeological context. Their reasoning being that nothing certain can be said about surface artifacts, excavated artifacts on the other hand can be associated with a known cultural deposit and a chronology established based on layer stratigraphy. They fear that conclusions deriving from surface collections are likely to be unreliable, and even generalizations dangerous. And so shelves lined with valuable evidence are often dismissed with a smug sort of indifference.

      In Tubuai where most of the relatively recent geological processes are not likely to have produced stratified deposits of any great depth, the earliest artifacts may be only 30-40 cm below the surface. This means that modern farming methods may have already brought to the surface many of Tubuai's earliest artifacts. If archaeologists are not interested in this important evidence, then I propose a new way of approaching this valuable information, Implementology doing then what archaeology is unable or unwilling to do.

     However we need not be overly critical of archaeology or the archaeologist who has a hard enough job, with his brush and pan, rummaging about in the dirt so precisely. When and if ever he does find a precious fragment of adze in a stratigraphically defined context, ask him what type it is, not many archaeologists find the time to become fully versed in all the current Polynesian adze classification systems. It is likely that he will not be able to tell you exactly what type or specific variety he has found and so he requires the aid of another expertise, here is the place of implementology, of the implementologist.

     Implementology is then assisting and complimenting archaeology and is mainly concerned with the collection, classification and comparative study of tools (implements) and thus perhaps better referred to as Comparative Implementology.

     In a broader sense Implementology can be defined as:
a study of tools; their identification; inventory; classification; evolution and history, from man's most primitive invention, to the latest electronic gadget.

Click here to see my next chapter of Implementological Research
VIRTUAL BOOKBINDINGS - French Decorative Bookbinding Tools, 16th to 18th centuries.

Cliquez ici pour la version Francaise

click here go to the next page Stone Tools!


Click here to see the ATIAHARA Excavations 2007

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Click here to see a selection of Important New Discoveries and Artifact links.

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Click here to see AMAZING finds from the ATIAHARA Excavations 1999

Volume 25 - The ATIAHARA Trench

Recent finds!

Tubuai Marae

Uurani Walled Marae

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Volume 17 revisited with an updated Fishhook Classification

(see also Volume 18

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This page was last updated 16/08/2023

I am just now, in 2023, updating this site, which has been badly neglected for some years. I originally started working on these web pages over 20 years ago, and now discover many small html errors that are in need of correction. As there are several hundred files, it is going to take a while, so please bare with me on this, if you find dead links, or you can't find a page, please do not hesitate to email me. All of the more recent discoveries can be found on my new pages at ATIAHARA.ORG