Nukubalavu 1: A Preliminary Examination of Mid-Sequence Ceramics and Culture Change on Vanua Levu, Fiji

Author(s): Ian Takaoka; Jozie Banas

Year: 2015


We present new data from the ceramic assemblage from the site of Nukubalavu 1 in Natewa Bay on Vanua Levu, Fiji. The site was excavated in the summers of 2013 and 2014; it is one of the only excavated sites on the island of Vanua Levu. Over 29,400 sherds were analyzed, many of which are diagnostic, typical of stylistic phases in the Fijian ceramic sequence. The assemblage includes Late Lapita (ca. 2500 BP), Fijian Plainware (ca. 2500-2100 BP), and Navatu (ca. 2100-900 BP) phases of the Fijian mid-sequence, representing what are considered distinct culture historical periods in Fijian prehistory. In the summer of 2014, we discovered an increased amount of grog, white sand, and coarse black sand used as tempers. Arc dentate decoration is visible on some fragments, and a previously unrecorded style of surface decoration, a fish-hook shaped design, was discovered on shallow bowl fragments from excavations during both years. Concurrent to these designs are highly everted vessel forms, extremely sharp or rounded lips, and entire vessel sections with firing clouds, soot residue, and red ochre paint, which have the potential of yielding detailed information about manufacture and use by Fijian communities during the mid-sequence period.

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Cite this Record

Nukubalavu 1: A Preliminary Examination of Mid-Sequence Ceramics and Culture Change on Vanua Levu, Fiji. Ian Takaoka, Jozie Banas. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397729)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Ceramics Fiji Lapita

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;