As part of the Centre for Samoan Studies Seminar & Film Series on 22 May, 14 students who took part in the AFCP Project Trip to Savaii presented on their own experiences, lessons learned and recommendations for the future.
In April 2017, a research team from the Centre for Samoan Studies conducted an archaeological survey in the inland areas of the villages of Vaito’omuli and Fa’aala, Palauli district, Savai’i island, Samoa. The purpose of the survey was to locate and record any remains of ancient Samoan settlements made up of archaeological features such as tulaga fale/platforms, fetu ma’a/star mounds, umuti/earthen ovens, pa/walls and ‘auala savali/walkways. The team, comprising 5 CSS lecturers and 14 local students, canvassed 2 large swaths of bush measuring 300m x 300m inland of each village using Samsung S6 smart phones to take GPS waypoints, record data, photograph features and track their progress. After working for only 2 days in the inland areas of each village, the team had taken 673 GPS way-points, amassed over 750 photographs, and recorded 233 archaeological features, confirming that the inland areas above the current day villages of Vaito’omuli and Fa’aala, now used primary for plantations and cattle farming, were once areas of dense prehistoric settlement. These results, collected primarily by 14 NUS students, will change the way Samoan history is recorded and researched.