Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NKU Students Return From Archaeological Field Work in Fiji

A group of students from Northern Kentucky University returned recently from doing archaeological field work for four weeks on the island of Vanua Levu in Fiji.  Eight students from NKU had the opportunity to work alongside Dr. Jones, as well as, graduate students and faculty members from other universities, such as, Columbia University, University of College London, University of Georgia, SUNY Albany, and the University of South Pacific.  Other student collaborations included working with the Fiji Museum, native Fijian locals in Natewa Bay, and with the Baker-Hunt Arts and Cultural Center in Covington, KY.
Nukubalavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji.

2014 NSF-REU Fiji Team.

Local Fijian woman

Traditional Fijian meke (dance)

NKU students analyzing artifacts recovered in Fiji

Artifacts excavated from the ancient site at Nukubalavu included thousands of shell midden and pottery sherds, which when radio carbon dated will help determine what interactions pre-historic Fijians had with their environment, what they consumed, and how they may have conducted their daily lives.

Excavated Yavu's (house mound)

Another excavation unit in the Nukubalavu 1 Yavu

Artifacts recovered from Yavu excavations, called lithics (stone tools)

One unique feature to the Nukubalavu site was a new design motif found on pottery in 2013, and again in 2014, that is specific to Lapita pottery and has not been found anywhere else in the world.

Fijian pottery with fishhook design, a unique feature of some ceramics recovered from Nukubalavu.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1156479 to Dr. Sharyn Jones

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