NOTED PACIFIC ARCHAEOLOGIST GARANGER DIES

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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Jan. 3) – Burial services were held Wednesday in Noisy-le-Grand, France, for French archaeologist José Garanger, a University of Paris professor, a researcher for the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) and a specialist in Oceania archaeology. He died on Dec. 26 at the age of 80.

Garanger was the first French archaeologist to work in South Pacific islands in a world dominated at the time by Anglo Saxon archaeologists. He introduced French-style excavation methods adapted from those of André Leroi-Gourhan who was Garanger's mentor.Garanger made archaeological discoveries in the New Hebrides, the colonial name for the Melanesian island group governed by the British and French and today known as the nation of Vanuatu. He excavated ancient stone monuments that had a socio-religious vocation, the historical veracity of oral traditions.

Garanger arrived in French Polynesia in 1976. He is remembered for his excavations on Tahiti's peninsula and his development of working methods that contributed to extensive archaeological work that preceded the hydroelectric dams that were later built in the Papenoo valley on Tahiti's north coast.

During his work as a professor at the University of Paris until 1995, Garanger taught general prehistory and Oceania archaeology.

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