Museum of Samoa - SAMOAN PREHISTORY

The following images show some of the 3000 year old stone adze and pottery in the lapita Theme display. The venue has also been set aside for the Archeology students of NUS to hold seminars or workshops.
Read more about:
What is Archaeology ? , Archaeology in Samoa Part I  , Archaeology in Samoa Part 2
What Can Stone Tools Tell us About the Past? 
,  Ceramics in SamoaPulemelei Mound Excavations  
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Museum of Samoa photo: Glass display of the artefacts recovered from
the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel Excavation in 2011

Museum of Samoa photo: Examples of stone adzes from <
the Museum of Samoa collection

Museum of Samoa photo: Stone adzes recovered from
archaeological investigations in the 1960s

Museum of Samoa photo: An example of a grinding stone
used for stone tool manufacturing
28th of June 2011:
Archaeologist Janet Davidson who was one of the pioneers to Samoan archaeology and conducted several archaeological excavations 1963-1968 in Samoa, (she was an honorary guest at the Lapita International Conference hosted by NUS last year.

ACEO Culture So'ona'alofa Sina Malietoa, Lecturer of Archaeology NUS Tautala Asaua-Pesa and Adjunct Professor at NUS also ( Associate Professor Department of Archaeology School of Culture, Energy and Environment Gotland University Helene Martinsson-Wallin.

( Photo by Professor of Archaeology Helene Martinsson-Wallin)

Students of NUS featured showcasing canvasses donated by the The Linnaeus-Palme grant which is an educational exchange sponsored by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)
IN HONOR OF THE PRE HISTORY ROOM DONORS

The Museum of Samoa holds in one of its rooms the prehistory of Samoa exhibition which consists of eight banners on this topic and lapita pottery.
In 2011, a Lapita Conference was hosted by the National University of Samoa between the 27th June-1st July 2011. The conference started with the launch of a museum exhibition which was declared opened by Associate Professor Helene Martinsson-Wallin Gotland University/Adjunct Professor NUS.

The opening ceremony, the content and design of the eight banners were coordinated by Associate Professor/Adjunct Professor Helene Martinsson-Wallin with technical assistance of MA Gustaf Svedjemo and sponsored by The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) under the Linneaus-Palme grant, Gotland University and Aunérs Foundation (Sweden). All text and photographs (except on photo indicated) on the banners are under the copyright of Helene Martinsson-Wallin but the banners and a digital copy are provided for the use of the museum to promote archaeology and prehistory of Samoa in the way the Museum sees fit under the condition that the donors and the source of the photographs are mentioned in future displays or other prints.
As a sign of growing relationship, the professor’s latest visit included texts and photos given as digital copies to the current Principal of the Museum, Lumepa Apelu for the further use of the Museum of Samoa and further information and photos can be provided to assist further elaborations of displays on Samoan Prehistory or other printed matters in this connection.

The museum display of artifacts in the cabinets as well as the section on the Tanoa Tusitala excavation (carried out by Tautala Asaua-Pesa as a field school HAR 200) was coordinated under the supervision of Asaua-Pesa and Martinsson-Wallin as a student project in the HAR 201 archaeology course at The National University of Samoa under the Memorandum of Understanding between MESC and NUS which includes student training on museum displays.

The Linnaeus-Palme grant is an educational exchange sponsored by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and they encourage engagements by the involved parties with Government organisations and NGOs especially in relation to education, human resource capacity building and the topic for this specific exchange on Archaeology and Heritage Management with Martinsson-Wallin as project coordinator.

In this respect a one or two day workshop on Museum Displays, Heritage Management, Public Outreach, Cultural Tourism and Design will be offered for the staff of the Samoan museum by Helene Martinsson-Wallin under the exchange program sometime during February-March 2013 at a time that will suit both parties.

The Museum of Samoa in an entity in the Culture Division of the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture. It continues to promote and preserve Samoa’s cultural heritage.
Lapita Pottery in Samoa

Archeological teams from New Zealand and USA carried out diggings in Western Samoa in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the early 1970s, the channel for the boat leading to the Mulifanua wharf was dug out with heavy machinery, to make it deep enough for the large ferry to reach the wharf. The sand from the lagoon was dumped by the machines on the shore next to the wharf. In 1973, a seashell collector happened to pass by and look at this sand – and it contained decorated Lapita pottery! The Project Manager for the dredging project, T. Hassell, was alerted and initiated further collection of items.

Later the same year, an American archeological team under Prof. Jennings surveyed the site, and found more Lapita pottery, stone adzes and other typical objects from a Lapita culture settlement. Through scientific methods (carbon dating), the age of the settlement was determined to be from approximately 800 BC, or 2800 years old. This site at Mulifanua is therefore the oldest known human settlement in Samoa.Why was this site found in the sea? The geological development of this part of Samoa is a slow, but steady lowering of the land. The Mulifanua settlement of the Lapita culture probably was at the seashore, just like the present villages in that area. During the past 3000 years, the land sank deeper and deeper, until the settlement was covered by the lagoon waters, and by layers of sand coming with the waves.The Museum of Samoa has some items which were found at this site: Two decorated Lapita pottery pieces, a piece of a pot rim, a piece of Lapita pottery encrusted over many years by coral growth, and a small stone adze.