2004 South Pacific Field School in Tonga

The Department of Archaeology through SFU International Programs held the fifth South Pacific field school in Archaeology on the SFU campus and in the Kingdom of Tonga from May through July 2004. Seventeen students registered in three courses including Arch 434-3 (Field Methods), Arch 332-3 (Tonga Culture, History and Archaeology) and Arch 435-6 (Fieldwork Practicum). Arch 434-3 was taught on the Burnaby campus by Bob Muir with the assistance of Rob Commisso (PhD student). The remaining two classes were delivered in Tonga by David Burley with Jessi Witt (MA student) serving as teaching assistant. As part of the Tongan Culture, History and Archaeology class students were given several guest lectures by Tongan experts on topics ranging diversely from agriculture to funerals to transgender to the Tongan Constitution. A highlight of the program was a field trip to Lapaha, the 13th through 19th century capital of Tonga combined with a lunch put on by Princess Siuilikutapu and the High Chief, Kalaniuvalu. The fieldwork practicum class was conducted as part of David Burley's SSHRC funded study of first Tongan settlement. Integrated with a field crew of Tongan assistants, students participated in a five week excavation of the Vuna Site on Pangaimotu Island, Vava'u. During their stay in Tonga, students also were instrumental in raising funds to repaint the local hospital in Neiafu, Vava'u.

David Burley