Monday, September 12, 2011

Old pots found on Mali Island

from w
A good story from Mali Island about carbon dating old pots found there.
from Fiji Times today. Good to get away from politics and rugby! Though it still seems strange to talk about settlements on Vorovoro Island because of the limited water source there.

Early settlers moved to Mali

Serafina Silaitoga
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Archaeological tests on Lapita pottery found on an island in Macuata last year confirmed that early settlers arrived between 3000 and 3200 years ago.

This is equivalent to those from Bourewa on the Coral Coast in Nadroga, a site presently considered the founder colony for Fiji.

A Canadian team of archaeologists from the Simon Fraser University in Burnaby released a report - Archaeological Excavations on Vorovoro Island - in June.

Headed by Canadian archaeologist David Burley, the report states radiocarbon dating of the undisturbed zone on Vorovoro reveal that first settlement goes far back as 3000 to 3200 years ago.

"These dates are equivalent to those from Bourewa on the Coral Coast of Viti Levu, a site presently considered the founder colony for Fiji," according to the report.

"The early radiocarbon estimate is supported by the style of early Lapita decorated ceramics at Vorovoro, which is similar to decorated ceramics from Bourewa."

The report said Vorovoro sat at the head of Mali island passage and offered direct access to and from the open ocean and was a kilometre from the Vuata and Nalumi reefs which are segments of the Cakaulevu - the Great Sea Reef.

"The Cakaulevu facilitates one of the most resource diverse coastlines in Fiji relative to fish and marine invertebrate species which no doubt was an attractive stimulus for early Lapita exploration and settlement on Vanua Levu."

Tui Mali Ratu Apenisa Bogiso said stories relayed by their forefathers led them to believe that their ancestors first settled on Vorovoro before moving to Mali Island.

He said as the population grew, the elders decided to move to Mali Island. The dates of shifting, however, are not known.

The report supports this story saying: "Traditional history of Tui Mali and the Mali people claim Vorovoro as a founding settlement, following which they relocated to Mali island as population grew.

"This tradition is strikingly correspondent with the archaeological records of Vorovoro in 2010."

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