We’ve been back in Samoa for a few weeks now surveying in rock walls, mounds and other likely agricultural features, some of which are identified on lidar map by Dr Seth Quintus, as part of our Marsden funded project investigating agricultural variation and socio-political complexity in the past.
Survey involves transects across the landscape, recording characteristics of features to add to the lidar and GPS based GIS that we are building. We use these data to detect and explain patterns of agricultural infrastructure over time.
We have also begun excavating features recorded last year. Our primary goal is to recover datable material, so we can begin to build a chronology of construction in the Falefa Valley. We will add more features and different types of features as we continue this year and next.
We’re getting great dating material from these excavations, so I’m confident are analyses and results will have much to contribute to Samoan archaeology and studies of agriculture and social complexity.