Looking northeast from the village of A'asutoui ("Old A'asu"). The rear of the Massacre Bay monument site is seen in the foreground.

A'asu Valley Archaeology Project:
The Archaeology of Massacre Bay


A project of the Texas A&M University at Galveston
Maritime Studies Program
2002 - 2003

Dr. Frederic B. Pearl, Principal Investigator

Looking northeast from the village of A'asutoui ("Old A'asu"). The rear of the Massacre Bay monument site is seen in the foreground.  Click for a larger picture.

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During May and June of 2002 archaeologists from Texas A&M University began an evaluation of the archaeology of the A’asu Valley in American Samoa. A’asu is the site of one of the more famous contact events from the European period of discovery in the South Pacific. It is at this site that the famous explorer LaPérouse lost twelve men in a violent skirmish with some Samoans, some of whom also lost their lives. This marked an important turning point in the history of Tutuila, and indeed, the entire group of Samoan islands. A’asu is worthy of archaeological consideration because it is known to be associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history, and is associated with the lives of persons significant in our past. But also, for reasons elaborated upon below, A’asu is a likely candidate to yield information important in prehistory as well.

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