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One Hundred New Dates from Tutuila and Manu’a: Additional Data Addressing Chronological Issues in Samoan Prehistory

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David J. Addison and Tautala S. Asaua 2

Samoan Studies Institute, American Samoa Community College 2 Centre for Samoan Studies, The National University of Samoa

Abstract

This paper presents more than 100‘4C dating results for Tutuila and Manu’a. The results address a number of current topics in Samoan archaeology. Deposition of volcanic ash on the Holocene Leone Volcanics (Tafuna Plain) continued to at least 13 or 14 centuries BP; ceramics under these ash strata suggest occupation of a lava landscape for up to 700 years prior to the ash falls. Models of ceramic cessation in Samoa are discussed in light of new dating results. Coastal flats on Tutuila aggraded and/or prograded significantly in the post 1600 BP period, creating many newly habitable areas. Two securely dated lithic manufacture sites dating to 600-700 BP are discussed. Inland settlement on Tutuila is discussed and began by at least 2000 BP. Shell bracelets and decorated pottery are found in relatively late contexts (1300-1600 BP).

KEYWORDS: Samoa, Tutuila, Manu’a, archaeology, ceramics, coastal geomorphology, Ancestral Polynesian Society, Holocene volcanics

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