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Evidence for introduced taro (Colocasia esculenta) and lesser yam (Dioscorea esculenta) in Lapita-era (c. 3050-2500 cal. yr BP) deposits from Bourewa, southwest Viti Levu Island, Fiji

by admin last modified 2006-12-25 06:22 PM

Horrocks M, Nunn PD. 2007. Journal of Archaeological Science 34, 739-748.


Starch residue, pollen and phytolith analysis was carried out on coralline deposits from a c. 3050-2500 cal. yr BP Lapita site at Bourewa, Viti Levu, Fiji. Starch grains, calcium oxalate crystals and xylem cells of introduced Colocasia esculenta and Dioscorea esculenta were identified, involving a process of elimination of possible taxa by cross-correlation of microfossil types. The data provide an eastward extension of direct evidence of Lapita horticulture in Remote Oceania previously identified in Vanuatu.


Ancient starch, Colocasia esculenta, Dioscorea esculenta, Lapita, Fiji.

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