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Bikini atoll is located in the North Pacific at 11 degrees 30′ North Latitude and 165degrees 25′ East Longitude, and comprises one of 29 atolls in the Marshall Islands. The atoll consists of 36 islets that surround a lagoon of 594 square kilometers in area. Culturally part of the Micronesian region, archeologists place their best estimates of human colonization of the Marshall Islands between 3,000 − 2,000 years before present, with Bikini being settled more toward the recent portion of this date range. One controversial assessment of Bikini's settlement, based on carbon dating of charcoal, pushes that date back to between 4,000 − 3,600 years ago, although this date range supersedes geologic estimates of the Atoll's formation by 600 – 1,000 years (it is ...

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