Assessing foraging variability on small islands in Manu‘a (American Samoa) during the first millennium BC

Lambrides, Ariana B.J., Weisler, Marshall I., Clark, Jeffrey T., Quintus, Seth, Worthy, Trevor H., and Buckley, Hallie (2022) Assessing foraging variability on small islands in Manu‘a (American Samoa) during the first millennium BC. Archaeology in Oceania, 57 (1). pp. 39-58.

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Abstract

Small islands are important model systems for examining the role of people in shaping novel environments and modifying resources through time. Here we report on the vertebrate faunal assemblages recovered from two sites on Ofu and Olosega islands (American Samoa), which were occupied only a few centuries after the initial settlement of the islands. We assess forager decision-making both locally and regionally as well as changing subsistence regimes. Our results suggest foraging efforts were focused on the marine environment, particularly fish, but with concomitant evidence for interactions with terrestrial habitats (e.g. seabirds) including the introduction of commensal species (i.e. red junglefowl and Pacific rat). Notably we documented a high degree of similarity between the fish species reported archaeologically and those targeted by modern subsistence fishers in the region, which is despite the occurrence of wide scale coastal landscape changes over the past several thousand years. These preliminary outcomes may suggest fish resources have remained stable through initial occupation to the present-day, but future zooarchaeological research is required to comprehensively evaluate the sustainability of the marine fishery over the past several millennia.

Item ID: 70918
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1834-4453
Keywords: archaeofauna, island archaeology, Pacific Islands, Samoa, fishing
Copyright Information: Published Version: © 2021 Oceania Publications. Avvepted version may be made open access in an Institutional Repository after an embargo of 12 months.
Funders: National Science Foundation, Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE210101087
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 21:23
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 50%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4513 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history > 451301 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130799 Understanding past societies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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