2 Oct 2014

Archeologists probe American Samoa sites

2:05 pm on 2 October 2014

A professor of archaeology from France has been working with the American Samoa Power Authority archeology division in analysing 25 burial sites and remains that were uncovered from the sites.

Some of the burial sites are 1,500 years old and were unearthed during the recent sewerline and water line projects.

Federally funded projects have to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act which requires that they take into account the effects of their undertaking on historic properties.

Areas where the burial sites were discovered include Laulii, Auto, Pavaiai, Faleniu, Iliiili and Fatumafuti.

Professor Frederique Valentin says research of the bones found indicate there was hardly any tooth decay, but gout was present among Samoans more than 1,000 years ago.

"Gout existed in the Pacific population long before the Europeans arrived. Gout is here since the time of the Lapita people."

Professor Frederique Valentin