The First Season of Excavations at A’asu, Tutuila, American Samoa

Introduction | Material Analysis | Geochronology of A'asu | Conclusion | Photos | Credits

An excavation unit in a house floor revealed a fairly recent occupation and a sequence of house platform building. A prehistoric occupation beneath the house was at least 740 years old at 2 meters deep.


  1. That A’asu has a prehistoric, aceramic component dating at least to about 1300 A.D.
  2. There may be a deeper, older prehistoric component
  3. If A’asu is representative of alluvial valleys on the northwestern shores of Tutuila then deposition and preservation of stratified archaeological sites is likely.
  4. Paleoshoreline indicators near A’asu, especially raised reef, indicate that subsidence along this part of the northwest coast during the late Holocene is not a significant factor.
  5. Sedimentary deposition may have been significant, especially along the valley margins. Based on the geochronology the localized rate of deposition is at least 4 cm/year. Therefore sites as old as A’oa, To’aga, and Malifanua (3,000 or more years old) could be buried by as much as 4.0 m of sediment.

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