Marquesan ceramics, palaeotsunami, and megalithic architecture: Ho‘oumi Beach site (NHo-3) in regional perspective

Allen, Melinda S., McALISTER, Andrew, Petchey, Fiona, Huebert, Jennifer M., Maeva, Ma’Ara, and Jones, Benjamin D. (2021) Marquesan ceramics, palaeotsunami, and megalithic architecture: Ho‘oumi Beach site (NHo-3) in regional perspective. Archaeology in Oceania, 56 (2). pp. 73-99.

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The iconic Ho‘oumi Beach site (NHo-3), Nuku Hiva Island (Marquesas), was excavated by Robert Suggs in the late 1950s. It figured importantly in his island-wide reconstruction of settlement patterns, socio-political organisation, material culture and subsistence change – a cultural historical framework that has guided Marquesan archaeology for six decades. Ho‘oumi is also one of four Marquesan localities where prehistoric ceramics have been found. We revisited Ho‘oumi to acquire chronological and palaeoenvironmental context for two cultural occupations reported by Suggs. Eight 14C determinations on short-lived materials and new marine reservoir corrections are reported, and the overall series evaluated using Bayesian modelling. A single ceramic sherd, previously assigned to a Fijian source, is attributed to the thirteenth to fourteenth centuries AD – a period when Marquesans engaged in long-distance voyaging. A significant marine inundation disrupted the associated occupation, leading to sustained coastal abandonment. Stratigraphic and historical evidence suggests this was a palaeotsunami, which may also be represented at Hane (Ua Huka Island). House pavements of the early occupation were replaced by raised megalithic house foundations, probably around the late seventeenth to mid-eighteenth centuries AD, but material culture changes were modest. By late prehistory, mature native forest was largely replaced by secondary species and Polynesian introductions.

Item ID: 70303
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1834-4453
Keywords: architecture mégalithique, Céramiques de Polynésie est, East Polynesian ceramics, effets de réservoir marin, long-distance voyaging, marine reservoir effects, Marquesas Islands (Polynesia), megalithic architecture, palaeotsunami, paléotsunami, voyages longue distance, îles Marquises (Polynésie)
Copyright Information: © 2021 Oceania Publications.
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2022 01:12
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