Colonisation and late period faunal assemblages from Ofu Island, American Samoa

Weisler, Marshall I., Lambrides, Ariana B.J., Quintus, Seth, Clark, Jeffrey, and Worthy, Trevor (2016) Colonisation and late period faunal assemblages from Ofu Island, American Samoa. Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 7 (2). pp. 1-19.

PDF (Accepted Author Version) - Accepted Version
Download (6MB) | Preview
[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


The identification and analysis of 1583 bones from colonisation (~2700 cal BP) to late period (post-800 cal BP) cultural layers from archaeological site AS-13–41 on Ofu Island, American Samoa are reported. The assemblage is dominated by fish (~91 per cent; NISP = 1435, MNI = 162) with bones of human, Green Sea Turtle, sea birds (shearwaters and petrels) and a terrestrial bird (Buff-Banded Rail), as well as the commensals Pacific Rat, chicken (Red Junglefowl) and pig. We report here the first prehistoric records of Pacific Flying Fox (Pteropus tonganus) and the endemic Tooth-Billed Pigeon (Manumea, Didunculus strigirostris) from colonisation layers and two pelagic fish species only recorded from late pre-historic deposits: Mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) and flying fish (Exocoetidae). These and numerous genus-level fish identifications of surgeonfish (Acanthuridae), squirrelfish and soldierfish (Holocentridae), snapper (Lutjanidae) and parrotfish (Scaridae) are additional new fish records for Samoan prehistory reflecting the breadth of the fish reference collection as well as the practice of using all fish bones for identification; ~37 per cent of bones were assigned to family. Colonisation period deposits are characterised by greater quantities of fish, turtle and bird bones, declining towards later prehistory signalling the likely effects of human predation and an increasing emphasis towards agricultural production.

Item ID: 59061
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1179-4712
Keywords: Samoa, faunal analysis, Pteropus tonganus, Didunculus strigirostris, Katsuwonus pelamis, ubiquity analysis
Copyright Information: © New Zealand Archaeological Association.
Funders: United States National Science Foundation (NSF), University of Aukland (UA), North Dakota State University (NDSU)
Projects and Grants: NSF 1229417
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2019 23:16
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210106 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl New Zealand) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 20
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page