Micronesia (= small islands) is understood to mean the archipelagos or island states listed below, which are located in the South Pacific and belong to their own cultural area.
A number of independent states therefore form this cultural area.
Micronesia, together with Melanesia (black islands) and Polynesia (many islands), together form the island world of Oceania, often referred to as the South Sea states. The cultural area known as Micronesia must not be confused with the island nation of the “Federated States of Micronesia”.
The area of the cultural area of Micronesia comprises around 2,000 atolls and islands, with around 115,000 residents, of which only a part are “real” Micronesians.
The total area of Micronesia including the sea area is around 7.8 million km². The terms Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesia have been borrowed from the Greek, where mikros = small, poly = many, melas = black and nesos = island.
A detailed representation of the individual islands, archipelagos or states can be found under the following menu items:
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Gilbert islands, the atoll member 16 of Kiribati are
- Marshal Islands
- Northern Mariana Islands
- US territories in the Pacific
UNSCO World Heritage Site
Ruined city of Nan Madal
The ruined city of Nan Madal is spread over 99 artificial islands made of basalt rock and coral blocks off the Micronesian island of Phonpei.
These are the remains of stone palaces, dwellings and ceremonial complexes that were built between 1200 and 1500 AD – during the Saudeleur dynasty.
They are a particularly good example of Austronesian culture and are eloquent testimony to the social and religious behavior of the local societies of that time.
Last but not least, they are a good example of the emergence of a hierarchical social order led by a chief (Nahnmwarki), the influence of which has remained visible up to the present day.
On July 17, 2016, the ruined city of Nan Madal was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.