Coring on Monday and Tuesday in the village of Satitoa in Aleipata District has been quite successful. After consulting with the paramount chief of Satitoa, Matai Togafau Sio, we have freedom to work wherever we like. And with our able assistant Petelu (Peter, centre), Matiu (to left) and I are in good hands.
We are trying to track the horizontal and vertical distribution of ancient beach sediments and the water table is giving us a headache (pumps will likely be necessary for excavation!). Typically we have swamps to seaward and then a slope break to the uplands. There are some successes with the cores as we locate elevated areas pushing out into the swamp.
Core 8 has abundant charcoal (for a core) in subsurface beach deposits and a nearby core pulled out this possible artefact from the same layer (colleagues, please confirm: abraded pencil urchin spine?). These subsurface beach deposits are probably not Lapita in age, but I’ve got charcoal to date…
Over the next few days we will move south towards Vailoa village where there is less swampy ground between the current shoreline and possible ancient dunes—the topography here may prove fruitful.