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Substantive Evidence of Initial Habitation in the Remote Pacific: Archaeological Discoveries at Unai Bapot in Saipan, Mariana Islands
Author: Mike T. Carson and Hsiao-chun Hung. xii+180 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (91 plates in colour). Available both in print and Open Access.
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At the Unai Bapot Site of the Mariana Islands, new excavation has clarified the oldest known instance of a residential habitation prior to 1500 B.C. in the Remote Pacific, previously difficult to document in deeply buried layers that originally had comprised near-tidal to shallow subtidal zones. The initial habitation at this site, as well as at others in the Mariana Islands, pre-dated the next Remote Oceanic archaeological evidence by about four centuries and in an entirely different part of the Pacific than previously had been claimed. The newest excavation at Unai Bapot in 2016 has revealed the precise location of an ancient seashore habitation, containing dense red-slipped pottery, other artefacts, food midden, and arrangements of hearths, pits, and post moulds in three distinguishable archaeological layers all pre-dating 1100 B.C. and extending just prior to 1500 B.C. The new discoveries are presented here in detail, as a substantive basis for learning about a rarely preserved event of the initial cultural inhabitation of a region, in this case in the Remote Oceanic environment of the world with its own set of unique challenges.

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