Ode to the Real Oceanic Archaeologist

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Ode to the Real Oceanic Archaeologist



Limerick composed on the occasion of awarding the Marsden Medal to Professor Roger Green by the Royal Society of New Zealand.


Lisa Matisoo Smith


November 2003


Auckland, New Zealand.


Once some Flannery guy, first name Kent

Wrote a book ‘bout an archaeology gent

That he calls RMA

Due to personal sway

Towards a particular theoretical bent

RMA applies his vocation

In a Mesoamerican location

Some find it a mystery

- his love, Culture History

and his study of village formation

In the Southwest too Roger did play

But thankfully he chose not to stay

Off to Harvard he went

Where he picked up that bent

That was favoured by old RMA

To the Pacific he chose then to go

Tahiti, Samoa, Nenumbo

Adzes plano-convex

And that cultural complex

With the pottery we’ve all come to know

From the fieldwork to things theoretical

used the “E word” – that’s almost heretical!

Phylogenetic reconstruction,

And linguistic deduction

Used approaches you might call synthetical! (oh no!)

From the students he trained through the years

Some so stubborn they brought him to tears

The often imprudent

Sceptical Graduate Student

Feel to Roger we are in arrears

Now with real jobs we are spread about

Of Roger's influence there can be no doubt

As much as we’re hopin’

This bottle you’ll open

Don’t drink it – worms aren’t good for gout!