Dr. Hsiao-chun Hung returns to the Mariana Islands

[a shard of decorated red-slipped pottery.]

“In February-March 2013, Hsiao-chun Hung and Mike Carson returned to the Mariana Islands in far western Micronesia, searching for more evidence of the oldest human habitation at the House of Taga Site, ca. 3500-3400 BP.

Following on their 2011 field-work, they uncovered more than 90 sq m of a very well preserved habitation layer, very dense with artefacts and midden, as well as arrangements of post-holes and other structural features. This work confirms that the very first inhabitants in the Marianas made red-slipped pottery of various forms with or without carination, including hundreds of decorated pieces that appeared from the earliest deposit of this site.

This excavation produced the largest so far known collection of decorated red-slipped pottery in the Marianas, with beautifully dentate-stamped designs highlighted by white lime in-fill. Some early pottery with painting was noticed, too! Certainly, the large amount of decorated pottery can help us to understand more about cross-regional relations.

Thanks are due to the funding sources, including both Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and Australian Research Council. Strong support from local scholars and authorities graciously made this project gain fruitful results. The preliminary results have been invited for presentation at several locations, such as at Archaeology Center of Stanford University (USA) and Northern Marianas Humanities Council (Saipan), as well as featured in media such as Radio Australia News and as Archaeology Magazine’s top news story on 14 March 2013.”

[post taken from the latest Archaeology and Natural History (ANH) newsletter.]

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