23 Dec 2005

Artefacts from American Samoa excavation provide snapshot of ancient Polynesia

5:07 pm on 23 December 2005

An archaeologist in American Samoa says remains uncovered in Pavaiai village will provide a valuable snapshot of life in ancient Polynesia.

Government employees digging an area in Pavaiai village to lay a new sewer line uncovered the remains of an ancient village two metres below the surface under more than a metre of volcanic ash.

The senior archaeologist for the American Samoa Power Authority, David Addison, says he believes the ashes are from the now dormant Olovalu Volcano.

Mr Addison says the artefacts are estimated to be between 1500 and 2000 years old, an important time period in the development of Polynesia.

"When what some people call Ancestoral Polynesian society was being developed and the time before people probably moved into East Polynesia. So it's really significant that we have a site where we have a snapshot in time covered by this volcanic deposit."

David Addison says the artefacts will be analysed and documented, after which they are the property of the landowner to decide what to do with them.