Ongoing Archaeological Research on Fais Island, Micronesia

Date
2008
Authors
Intoh, Michiko
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Publisher
University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Abstract
The third season of archaeological research was carried out on Fais Island in the Caroline Islands at the end of 2005. A deep cultural deposit (more than 3.3 meters) was excavated along the southern coastal deposit from which a number of potsherds, shell artifacts, bone artifacts, and various kinds of natural remains were found. The constant recovery of artifactual remains supports the previous supposition that the island was continuously inhabited since the time of the first colonization. Pigs and dogs (and possibly chickens) have definitely existed on the island since about A.D. 400 afterward. Two charcoal samples obtained from the earliest cultural deposit were securely dated as A.D. 230-410 (Beta-21306) and A.D. 240-420 (Beta213061). These are the earliest dates obtained for the coral islands in the central Caroline Islands. The continuous appearance of potsherds and natural food remains throughout the culture sequence indicates that Fais was permanently settled for the last 1700 years and was not just occupied for a short period of time. On the basis of introduced pottery and domesticated animals, maintaining cultural contacts with high islands could have been a significant way to survive on such small coral islands with limited resources.
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Citation
Intoh, M. 2008. Ongoing Archaeological Research on Fais Island, Micronesia. Asian Perspectives 47 (1): 121-38.
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