Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer 2014 Field Research on Vanua Levu, Fiji

This summer Sharyn Jones returned to Vanua Levu with 8 students from Northern Kentucky University, Justin Cramb, a graduate student from the University of Georgia, and one returning graduate student, Jerred Schafer, from SUNY Albany.  Our team set up camp in the same site as the students from last year, continued our excavations of Yavu 1 and Yavu 2 and opened up four more sites this year to dig for artifacts (Yavu 3-6).

2014 NSF-REU Fiji Team (Photo by S. Jones).

Students digging out the backfill from last year (Photo Garns).
Making friends!!
Rosa Christophel, Stephanie Zach, and Kendra Hein with Florence Landon (Photo by S. Jones).

The 2014 Fiji Team also had the opportunity to interact daily with a couple of local Fijians working with us, as well as, visiting a neighboring village.

Local Fijian woman performing a sitting dance ceremony (Photo by S. Jones).

Dressed for Success!
Jerred Schafer (SUNY Albany), Justin Wynne, Scott Solomon, and Dr. Bill Landon wearing traditional men's pocket sulus (Photo by S. Jones).

Traditional Fijian welcoming ceremony (Photo by S. Jones).

Sepeti Matararaba (Mata of the Fijian Museum) partaking in a very common Fijian tradition: the drinking of kava! (Photo by S. Jones).

Mata and Joe working on the lovo (Fijian earth oven, Photo by S. Jones).

This field season proved to be much less challenging in terms of the environment.  I was so thankful that the incessant rain from last year gave way to beautiful, sunny blue skies this year which made for a much more pleasant situation.

Yes, it really is this beautiful! (Photo by S. Jones).

Sunset on "our" beach.
Even WE needed a break every now and then!(Photo by S. Jones).

Although we had perfect snorkeling and sunbathing weather the first day we were there the students took charge and began to "setup" camp by building shelters, changing stations, and a latrine.

Scott Solomon, Justin Clamb, Mata, and myself digging holes for bamboo poles topped with tarps for overhead shelter (Photo Garns).

Jozie Banas building a changing station attached to our "indoor" latrine.
(Photo Garns).

This year my fellow colleague Dr. Alison Weisskopf, a paleo-botanist from the University of College London, joined us to take samples of organics, charcoal, and phytoliths and teach some of the students the process.
Dr. Alison Weisskopf instructing students how to "float" sediment samples.
(Photo Garns).

Ellie Kremer scraping sediment off of a lithic found during excavation.
(Photo Garns).
The floating process (Photo Garns).

Part of archaeological field work includes learning how to properly excavate, screen for artifacts found in the sediment removed from the excavated sites, and analyze and record data.

Ellie Kremer, Mata, and myself screening for artifacts (Photo Garns).
Jerred Schafer excavating Yavu 5 (Photo by S. Jones).

Stephanie Zach taking field notes and profiling a finished Yavu (Photo Garns).

Scott Solomon, Jozie Banas, and Ian Takaoka analyzing pottery collected in the field (Photo by S. Jones).

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1156479 to Dr. Sharyn Jones.

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