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Excavations at the Ureia Site, Aitutaki, Cook Islands: Preliminary Results

M. S. Allen and D. W. Steadman
Archaeology in Oceania
Vol. 25, No. 1 (Apr., 1990), pp. 24-37
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40386838
Page Count: 14
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Excavations at the Ureia Site, Aitutaki, Cook Islands: Preliminary Results
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Abstract

In 1987 we excavated 11m² of cultural deposit at the Ureia site (AIT10), Aitutaki, Cook Islands. First discovered and excavated by Peter Bellwood in 1970, the coastal Ureia site is very rieh in midden, particularly fish bone and marine molluscs. We identified 13 main stratigraphie layers at Ureia, of which Layers III, V, and VII represent the primary concentrations of cultural materials. Nine radio-carbon dates on charcoal range from 200 ± 50 yr BP (Layer III) to 1040 ± 80 yr BP (Layer VII). Our attempts to date the presumably older strata that underlie Layer VII have been unsuccessful. The Ureia site has yielded bones of two species of birds that no longer occur on Aitutaki: the Sooty Crake (Porzana tabuensis) and an extinct, undescribed species of whistling duck (cf. Dendrocygna).

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