Archaeological History of a Fijian Island: Moturiki, Lomaiviti Group

Date
2014
Authors
Berrocal, María Cruz
González, Antonio Uriarte
Millerstrom, Sidsel
Rodríguez, Susana Consuegra
Pérez-Arias, Juana
Ormeño, Santiago
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Abstract
Moturiki is one of the high islands in the Lomaiviti Group, central Fiji. In this article we present exhaustive empirical information on archaeological survey and test pit excavations carried out in 2008 and 2010. An interesting archaeological landscape emerged, with 89 archaeological sites found on Moturiki and neighboring islands Yanuca Levu, Leleuvia, and Caqalai. The sites include ring-ditch villages, terraced villages, isolated house mounds (yavus), and burial sites. Results from one of the test pits on the southeast of the island indicate possible landscape changes in the last millennium, since the ancient coastline is currently buried at around 1 m below the surface. This lowland area has therefore received large amounts of sediment from higher areas, a likely result of human activity. We also documented remains from a previously recorded Lapita site in the island. Overall, a shift in the settlement patterns from the coast, to the interior areas, back to the coast, has been documented. This shift, taking place on extremely small islands, can hardly be explained by environmental changes. The article puts together our findings and hypothesis, as well as providing the emphasis of our methodological approach.
Description
Keywords
Fiji, Moturiki, landscape archaeology, archaeological survey, settlement patterns
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