Archaeological investigations at the Chamorro village at Afetna Point on the southwest coast of Saipan yielded Latte Period burials, ceramics, stone and shell tools, microfossils from food remains, and charcoal from cooking features dating between A.D. 1450 and 1700.
When Ferdinand Magellan first anchored off the island of Guam in 1521, the inhabitants of the small Chamorro village at Afetna Point on the southwest coast of Saipan were likely unaware. Archaeological investigations of the traditional village yielded Latte Period burials, ceramics, stone and shell tools, microfossils from food remains, and charcoal from cooking features dating between A.D. 1450 and 1700. No direct evidence of Spanish Contact before forced abandonment of the island circa 1730 was encountered, after which time Saipan remained virtually unpopulated until the arrival of Carolinian and Chamorro settlers from Guam nearly a century later. Spanish settlement in 1668, the German occupation from 1898-1914, and the Japanese sugarcane period from 1914-1944 left few traces at the site until WWII and subsequent American administration. Afetna Point and Saipan have therefore been a contested landscape for centuries, but the island’s prehistory has deep roots that tie the Mariana Islands and its modern culture to ancestral SE Asia.
Preface; Chapter 1 Introduction to Afetna Point on Saipan; Chapter 2 Environmental Context of Afetna Point; Chapter 3 Research Design and Methods Employed; Chapter 4 Latte Period Village: Historic Context; Chapter 5 Latte Period Results; Chapter 6 Osteological Analysis; Chapter 7 Discussion of Research Questions; Chapter 8 Larger Research Implications; Chapter 9 References Cited by Major Topics
About the Author
BOYD DIXON is Senior Archaeologist for the Cardno GS office in Guam and the CNMI. With over 40 years of archaeological experience in North America, Latin America, Western Europe, and the Pacific Basin, his interests are equally varied. They embrace prehistoric and historic patterns of settlement, subsistence, interaction, power, and conflict. Boyd holds a BA from the University of Alabama, with MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. He has also been a research associate in the Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam. | CHERIE WALTH is a Project Manager, Principal Investigator, and Bioarchaeologist for SWCA Environmental Consultant’s Albuquerque Office. Cherie has worked in such diverse regions as the Rocky Mountains, the U.S. Southwest, the Pacific West, Micronesia, and North Africa. Her experience is in all levels of prehistoric and historic archaeological investigations and includes human and non-human osteological analysis (bioarchaeology). In her 30+ years of experience in cultural resource management, the analysis of human remains has remained her passion. Cherie has an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado and her thesis reported on human remains from her fieldwork in Tunisia, North Africa. | KATHY MOWRER is an Archaeologist and Bioarchaeologist for SWCA Environmental Consultant’s Albuquerque Office. Kathy has 20 years of archaeological experience in the U. S. Southwest, Pacific Coast, Plains, and CNMI, Saipan. She has been the consulting osteologist for Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado for 13 years. Kathy’s experience includes prehistoric and historic data recovery, survey, and research. Kathy holds a B.A .from Fort Lewis College with a major in Anthropology and minor in Religious Studies and an M.A. Archaeology from Northern Arizona University. Her thesis examined eastern and western Basketmaker II mortuary practices for social differentiation and regional variation. | DANNY WELCH is an Archaeologist/Project Manager for Stone Point Services, LLC. He has 13 years of experience conducting archaeological fieldwork and has contributed to multiple cultural resource projects throughout the Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Texas, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. His research focuses on archaeological site formation via geoarchaeology (radiocarbon, geochemistry, geomorphology) and stone tool analysis (mobility, adaptive strategies, and social networks). Danny holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University where he studied Polynesian island colonization and exchange networks.