Davidson, J.M., Leach, B.F., Fraser, K. and Burnside, G. 1998. Prehistoric Fishing at Fa`ahia, Huahine, Society Islands, French Polynesia. Journal de la Société des Océanistes 107: 145–157.

Description
Une collection d'os de poissons provenant des fouilles du locus C50 à Fa'ahia (Huahine) est analysée et les résultats sont comparés à ceux d'une étude précédente de la faune provenant d'une aire adjacente du même site. Les prises du

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 14
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Information
Category:

Graphics & Design

Publish on:

Views: 0 | Pages: 14

Extension: PDF | Download: 0

Share
Transcript
  Janet M. DavidsonB. F. LeachK. FraserG. Burnside Prehistoric Fishing at Fa'ahia, Huahine, Society Islands, FrenchPolynesia In: Journal de la Société des océanistes. 107, 1998-2. pp. 145-157. RésuméUne collection d'os de poissons provenant des fouilles du locus C50 à Fa'ahia (Huahine) est analysée et les résultats sontcomparés à ceux d'une étude précédente de la faune provenant d'une aire adjacente du même site. Les prises du locus C50 sontdominées par le poisson- perroquet alors que, dans l'étude précédente, le thon était dominant. Un tel contraste entre des partiesadjacentes du même site est des plus inhabituels dans le Pacifique. Diverses raisons possibles pour expliquer cette différencesont examinées ; une conclusion définitive doit attendre une compréhension plus complète de la nature de ce site archéologiqueremarquable. Abstract An archaeological assemblage of fish bones from excavations at Locus C50 at Fa'ahia on Huahine was analysed and the resultswere compared with a previous study of faunal remains from an adjacent area of the same site. The catch from Locus C50 wasfound to be dominated by parrotfish whereas in the earlier study, tuna had been dominant. Such a contrast between adjacentparts of a single site is most unusual in the Pacific. Various possible reasons for this difference are explored; a firm conclusionmust await a fuller understanding of the nature of this remarkable archaeological site.Citer ce document / Cite this document :Davidson Janet M., Leach B. F., Fraser K., Burnside G. Prehistoric Fishing at Fa'ahia, Huahine, Society Islands, FrenchPolynesia. In: Journal de la Société des océanistes. 107, 1998-2. pp. 145-157. doi : 10.3406/jso.1998.2054http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/jso_0300-953X_1998_num_107_2_2054  Prehistoric Fishing at Fa ahia, Huahine Society Islands French Polynesia par J.M. DAVIDSON, B.F. LEACH, K. FRASER, G. BURNSIDE * RESUME Une collection d'os de poissons provenant des fouilles du locus C50 à Fa'ahia (Huahine) est analysée et les résul tats ont comparés à ceux d'une étude précédente de la faune provenant d'une aire adjacente du même site. Les prises du locus C50 sont dominées par le poisson- perroquet alors que, dans l'étude précédente, le thon était dominant. Un tel contraste entre des parties adja centes du même site est des plus inhabituels dans le Pacifique. Diverses raisons possibles pour expliquer cette différence sont examinées ; une conclusion défini tive oit attendre une compréhension plus complète de la nature de ce site archéologique remarquable. ABSTRACT An archaeological assemblage of fish bones from excavations at Locus C50 at Fa'ahia on Huahine was analysed and the results were compared with a previous study of faunal remains from an adjacent area of the same site. The catch from Locus C50 was found to be dominated by parrotfish whereas in the earlier study, tuna had been dominant. Such a contrast between adja cent parts of a single site is most unusual in the Pacific. Various possible reasons for this difference are explored; a firm conclusion must await a fuller understanding of the nature of this remarkable archaeological site. Key words : Pacific, French Polynesia, Society Islands, Prehistory, Archaeozoology, Fauna, Fishing. Introduction The extensive archaeological site of Vaito'otia/Fa'ahia on Huahine in the Society Islands is one of the most important early East Polynesian sites yet known, because of the quantity and nature of the material culture recovered. The waterlogged cultural deposits have preserved a range of wooden artefacts and plant remains unique in tropical Polynesia. Following the chance discovery of the site in 1972, a series of investigations was underta ken etween 1973 and 1984 by the Bishop Museum under the direction of Sinoto. From 1983 to 1986, additional investigations were ried out by the Département Archéologie of the Centre Polynésien des Sciences Humaines in Tahiti. Analysis of the faunal assemblage from one area of Sinoto's excavations (Leach et al. 1984) revealed a heavy reliance on fast swimming pela gic ish, particularly Scombridae l and Caran- gidae, as well as successful hunting of several species of turtle and sea mammal. This was most unusual in our experience of Pacific faunal assemblages, although more recent studies of fish remains from several sites in the Marquesas have since revealed comparable catches of pela gic ish, particularly tuna (Leach et al. 1997b; Davidson et al. n.d.). * Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, PO Box 467, Wellington, New Zealand. 1 Leach et al.{\ 984) described these as Thunnidae/Katsuwonidae or tuna. In our more recent work, following Nelson ( 1 994), we have used the family name Scombridae and the common name tuna to refer to the tuna and bonito tribes of the sub-family Scombrinae (Davidson et al. n.d.).  146 SOCIETE DES OCEANISTES 0 m 50 LAGOON Fig. 1. — The Vaito'otia/Fa'ahia site on Huahine, showing the various areas excavated. This paper reports the results of a study of fish remains from another area of Fa'ahia, Locus C50, excavated by Pigeot on three occasions between 1983 and 1985. The fish catch at Locus C50 proved to be different from that of the area previously studied, although turtle remains were again an important component of the total fau- nal assemblage. We have not previously encount ered uch a marked difference between two parts of what is believed to be the same deposit. Variations from one area or layer of a site to another are usual, but the overall nature of the fish catch can generally be characterised as the same. This is not the case at Fa'ahia. Because of this discrepancy and its significance for overall interpretations of this important site, we begin with a brief review of the archaeological invest igations at Vaito'otia/Fa'ahia before discussing the fish remains from C50. Archaeological investigations at Vaito'otia and Fa'ahia The site is situated in the grounds of the Hotel Bali Hai Huahine near Fare on the northwest coast of Huahine Nui (Fig. 1). It spans two traditional land tracts known as Vaito'otia and Fa'ahia. Following the chance discovery of arte facts during dredging of ponds in the hotel grounds in 1972, initial investigations took place at Vaito'otia (ScH-1-1) between 1973 and 1976 (Sinoto 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1988; Sinoto and McCoy 1975a, 1975b). In 1977, back hoe digging for spoil for a tennis court, this time at Fa'ahia (ScH-1-2), uncovered more artefacts. In that year Sinoto carried out emergency exca vations in Sections 1 2, 3, and 4 and dug test pits in Section 5 and Zone B (Sinoto 1978, 1979). In 1979 he excavated in Zone B (Sinoto and Han 1980) and in 1980 in part of Section 5 between Sections 2 and 3 (Sinoto and Han 1981); in 1981 he extended the excavations in Sections 3 and 5 (Sinoto 1982); and in 1984 he carried out a fur ther excavation in Section 3, immediately to the south of the area previously investigated there (Sinoto and Han 1985). In 1983, after consultation with Sinoto, the Département Archéologie undertook investiga tions t Fa'ahia, with the specific objective of carrying out an intensive study of habitation structures. Because Sinoto had found the bases of posts and other domestic debris in Section 4, they chose to work in this area (Fig. 2). In 1983, a long line of squares extending east and west of Sinoto's excavation and an area (Locus 1) immediately east of it were investigated (Pigeot 1986). In 1984 and 1985, an area excavation was under taken at Locus C50 (Pigeot 1987). Although the full extent of the site has not been defined, it appears that the main area is situated some distance from the present beach. Zone B and the seaward part of Zone A at Fa'ahia were interpreted by Sinoto as marginal  PREHISTORIC FISHING AT FA'AHIA, HUAHINE 147 LOCUS C1 LOCUS C50 eu cziL. en □ □ c 10 m Fig. 2. — Excavations in Section 4 of Fa'ahia, showing the relationship of Locus C50 to Sinoto's excavation in 1 977. and, in the case of Zone B, possibly occupied later than the main part of Fa'ahia, which seems to have centred around the smaller of the two dredged ponds. The stratigraphy varies somewhat across the site but in general there is a single main cultural layer, always wet and usually completely water logged. This overlies sterile beach deposits and in turn is overlain by further natural deposits of sand and coral, on which the modern soil has formed. In Section 3 of Zone A, the source of the fish bone previously studied by Leach et al. (1984), there was a natural hollow, pond, or stream channel, in which a large amount of organic and other material had accumulated. There is limited evidence of later occupation in places, but recent disturbance of the whole site has been so extensive that the nature and extent of any such occupations are unclear, except for some structural evidence at Vaito'otia (including a stone pavement) and in the southern part of Section 5 of Fa'ahia a possible large house). The deposits have also been very thoroughly mixed by the intensive activities of burrowing land crabs. Pigeot (1986: 52) suggests that displ acement is rarely more than 10 to 20 cm horizont ally r vertically. It is not clear, however, whether successive displacements over a long period could have caused much more extensive movements of individual items. It seems likely that crab burrowing is responsible for the move ment of quite a few items from the main cultural layer both down into the underlying beach sands and up into the immediately post-occupational deposits. The geomorphological history of the site is puzzling. At the time of occupation, the site was evidently not completely waterlogged, although it may have been swampy in places. Some kind of change in relative land/sea levels since occupat ion s presumably responsible for the flooding of the site. Sinoto believes that a tidal wave or tsunami had invaded the site, disturbing and redepositing cultural material and covering the occupation layer with fresh deposits (1979: 3, 1983: 587, 1988: 114-118; Sinoto and Han 1981: 7-8). However Dubois (1986) suggests that the deposit above the occupation layer in Zone 4 was laid down in the calm conditions of a lagoon or lake. Thus the abandonment of some of the site, at least, might have been due to gradually increasing dampness, rather than to a catastro phic vent. Sinoto (1979, 1983) obtained four radiocar bon ates for Vaito'otia and two for Fa'ahia. These appeared to fall into two groups, sugges ting ccupation in the ninth and twelfth centur ies D. Spriggs and Anderson (1993), in their review of early East Polynesian dates, rejected one on the basis of its material (whale bone), but accepted three (one from Vaito'otia and the two from Fa'ahia) as dating before AD 1000. Sinoto (1988: 114) reports that calibration of these three dates produces a range from A.D. 700 to A.D. 1150 at the 95 confidence level. The two remaining dates are both from Vaito'otia. It is important to note that of the two dates for Fa'ahia, one is from Sinoto's Section 3, the exca vation which produced the faunal material ana lysed by Leach et al. (1984) and the other is from Section 4, only a short distance from Locus C50. These two dates (110769 and 110770) are statisti cally ndistinguishable, and strongly suggest occupation in the ninth century AD. Excavation of Locus C50 A total of 79 m2 was excavated in this area over three seasons. The stratigraphy was the same as that described for the rest of Section 4 (Dubois 1986) : layer d was a beach deposit; layer c (the cultural layer) represented a soil horizon developed on d; layer b was a sandy   Illustration non autorisée à la diffusion 148 SOCIÉTÉ DES OCÉANISTES Fig. 3. — The distribution of material in Locus C50 (after Pigeot 1987: fig. 16). The straight line represents the probable outline of a structure. A, principal earth ovens or fireplaces. B. concentrations of fish bones. C, concentration of turtle remains. D, working floor. E, concentrations of coconut shell. layer incorporating both marine and land- derived sediments, probably laid down in calm water; and layer a was the present soil. The cultural material was mostly in layer c, which was completely waterlogged. Some items were mixed into layers b and d and this mixing was attributed to land crab activity. The top of the water table fluctuated but even during dry periods was always within layer b, leaving layer c waterlogged. Excavation was by trowelling. The position of significant objects recognised during excavation, both artefacts and other items, was recorded in three dimensions. Other material was collected and bagged according to one-metre square and layer. All of layer b and the parts of layers c and d containing cultural material were wet sie ved. A very thorough spatial analysis was made of all structural and portable items encountered during excavation of Locus C50 (Pigeot 1987). A number of relatively small posts or stakes were taken to define the perimeter of an irregular and probably insubstantial structure which nonethel ess orrelated well with the distribution (inside or outside) of recovered objects of different kinds. These included significant remains of fish, turtles and coconut shells, concentrations of fired stones, domestic artefacts, and small quant ities of raw material for artefact manufacture. Locus C50 was interpreted as an area where fish and turtles were cooked and eaten, and where some other domestic and industrial activities took place, probably as a side line to the primary activity. A convincing case has been argued by Pigeot that the principal reason for coming to the site was to capture turtles, and that fishing was a natural secondary subsistence activity. In this interpretation, the entire culture deposit at C50 represents one relatively brief and probably seasonal occupation. Because of the complete churning over of the deposit by generations of burrowing crabs, no actual oven or hearth structures were found. However, the association of heat altered stones with concentrations of charcoal
Related Search
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks