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Microfossil analysis of Lapita deposits in Vanuatu reveals introduced Araceae (aroids)

by admin last modified 2005-10-01 03:41 AM

Horrocks M, Bedford S. 2005. Archaeology in Oceania 40, 67-74.


Starch residue, pollen and phytolith analysis was carried out on 14 coralline soil and potsherd samples from a c. 2700 BP Lapita site on Uripiv Island, Vanuatu. Starch grains, calcium oxylate crystals and xylem cells of introduced Araceae (aroids) were identified, providing the most compelling evidence to date of Lapita horticulture in Remote Oceania. Phytoliths indicate that local vegetation was dominated by Arecaceae (palms). Pollen was present in extremely low concentrations.


Plant microfossils, Araceae, horticulture, Lapita, Vanuatu.

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