Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Oceania, 1–500 A.D.

Polynesia and Micronesia
"Estuarine" period in Arnhem Land rock art, ca. 6000 b.c.–500 a.d.
"X-ray" style in Arnhem Land rock art, ca. 2000 b.c.–present
Stone figure tradition, New Guinea Highlands, ca. 1500 b.c.–1600 a.d. (?)
Manga'asi period, Vanuatu (New Hebrides), ca. 600 b.c.–1200 a.d.
Sohano period, Solomon Islands, ca. 200 b.c.–600 a.d.
Settlement of the Caroline Islands, ca. 1–500 a.d.


Encompasses present-day Australia, island Southeast Asia, and the islands of the tropical north and south Pacific

In the remote archipelagos of the Pacific, the period from 1 to 500 A.D. is one of continuing expansion and settlement. In the east, the Polynesians, having reached the Marquesas and Cook Islands between 200 B.C. and 1 A.D., continue to explore and settle the widely scattered islands of eastern Polynesia, while in Micronesia the first settlers reach Chuuk and Kosrae on the Caroline Islands.

In western Oceania, trade networks linking the peoples of island Southeast Asia and the Asian mainland continue to develop and expand eastward. Beginning around 1 A.D., traders from the eastern islands of Indonesia begin to establish relationships with the peoples of western New Guinea.

  • • ca. 1–500 A.D. Micronesian peoples settle Chuuk and Kosrae in the Caroline Islands.

  • • ca. 300–600 A.D. Polynesian peoples settle Hawai'i, Easter Island, and the Marquesas Islands.