2006 South Pacific Field School Fiji

The Department of Archaeology through SFU International delivered its sixth South Pacific field school in Archaeology in the Republic of Fiji in coordination with the University of South Pacific, the Fiji Museum and the National Trust for Fiji. The field school was held from May through July with 18 students enrolled in three course— Arch 332 (Fiji Culture, History and Archaeology), Arch 434 (Mapping and Recording) and Arch 435 (Field Work Practicum). David Burley was the field school leader with Karine Tache serving as an instructor and field supervisor with Lisa Grotrian as the field lab manager. After initial coursework at SFU (3 weeks), students carried out two and a half weeks of coursework on the University of South Pacific Campus in Suva receiving various lectures from USP faculty on Fijian history, politics, geography, biodiversity, traditional culture, historical linguistics and archaeology. Field trips or studies were carried out at the Fiji Museum, in Levuka, the first colonial capital of Fiji on the island of Ovalau, the Fijian hillfort at Taveuni, the traditional pottery making village of Nakabuta, and Colo i Suva Forest Park. The final four weeks of field school involved survey and excavations at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park on the Coral Coast of Viti Levu. This project was undertaken as part of a longer term research project at the site by David Burley and personnel from the Fiji Museum. The 2006 excavation project focused on a 1500 year old salt processing industry in which large ceramic pans were manufactured and used for evaporation of sea water on the Sigatoka shoreline. A small number of burials eroding from the dunes were also investigated. Students carried out this work with local Fijian field assistants as well as a staff member from the Fiji Museum.