The Prehistoric Archaeology of Norfolk Island, Southwest Pacific
Volume abstract. This Supplement documents the discovery, excavation and analysis of material of the Polynesian occupation of Norfolk Island about 600 years ago. The main excavation, in the dunes of Emily Bay, revealed a probable house, with some posts in place, and an adjacent paved area, which we interpret as a possible marae. Some obsidian, mostly sourced to Raoul Island, was associated with the paving. Stone artefacts, including adzes, were made of local basalt. Shell and bone tools were also found. Both stone and shell tools retained residues and usewear. The nature and morphology of the artefacts suggest New Zealand or the Kermadec Islands as the most likely source of the settlement. Faunal remains included a limited range of mammals and reptiles, along with fish, birds and shellfish. Some specialization in collection is evident in each of the three latter classes of remains. Rattus exulans is the only animal which was clearly introduced, and there is also pollen evidence for plant introductions. Detailed analysis of the radiocarbon data establishes that the settlement was occupied between early thirteenth and early fifteenth centuries A.D., although the duration of occupation many have been considerably shorter. Reasons for abandonment of the island are discussed; extreme isolation may have been important.