Abstract

The Peva dune site on Rurutu, Austral Islands, excavated in 2003, has yielded a rich archaeological assemblage containing artifacts and both vertebrate and invertebrate fauna from two distinct stratigraphic layers. The lower layer dates from the East Polynesian Archaic period (c. A.D. 1000–1450), and the upper layer from the Classic period (c. eighteenth and nineteenth centuries A.D.), during which time the site was a ceremonial marae. The two layers are entirely distinct, separated by a thick deposit of sterile beach sand. This article analyzes the major temporal trends in Rurutu's artifact and faunal assemblages, and discusses them in terms of both the general efflorescence of East Polynesian culture, and the more specific emergence of a uniquely Austral culture, which impressed early European visitors as being quite unique.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-8283
Print ISSN
0066-8435
Pages
pp. 156-187
Launched on MUSE
2008-03-19
Open Access
No
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