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Reconstructing tropical paleoshorelines using archaeological data: examples from the Fiji Archipelago, Southwest Pacific

Nunn, Patrick D. (2005) Reconstructing tropical paleoshorelines using archaeological data: examples from the Fiji Archipelago, Southwest Pacific. Journal of Coastal Research, 42 . pp. 15-25. ISSN 0749-0208

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Abstract

Insights into the reasons why the early settlers of the Fiji Islands occupied particular sites and not others can be gained through their paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Of particular importance are the configuration of the coast under conditions of higher sea level (1.5m higher 3000 cal yr BP) near shore sediment dynamics, and the occurrence of mangroves and sea-surface fringing reefs. Four areas where some of the earliest sites are known to have existed are examined in detail: Natunuku on the north coast of Viti Levu Island, Matanamuani on Naigani Island, Naitabale on Moturiki Island, and the Rove-Bourewa sites in southwest Viti Levu. At the time of its earliest settlement Natunuku is shown to have located on a narrow promontory, Matanamuani on a tombolo, Naitabale on a broad coastal plain, and Rove-Bourewa on an offshore island (now part of the mainland). The principle criterion in site selection by the first people in Fiji appears to have been access to a broad fringing reef rather than either the presence of a reef passage, access to fresh water or lowland suitable for horticulture. Sub-sequent (pre-European settlement) changes to the environment of each area and its settlement pattern re shown to have been largely the result of climate change and sea-level changes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: Office of the PVC (R&I)
Depositing User: Ms Mereoni Camailakeba
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2005 16:43
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2012 17:46
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/3385
UNSPECIFIED

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