COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.
Location: Marquesas Islands, PF
Season: June 20, 2020 to August 1, 2020
Session Dates: Session 1: June 20 - July 11, 2020. Session 2: July 11 - August 1, 2020.
Application Deadline: March 15, 2020
Deadline Type: Rolling
Field School, Volunteer
Andover Foundation for Archaeological Research
Barry Rolett, University of Hawaii and Andover Foundation for Archaeological Research
Discover an ancient South Pacific culture! The Marquesas project is a six week archaeological field school experience on Tahuata, a remote island with a rich history. Participants are fully immersed in a small community while working with Marquesans and living as the only foreigners on an island with no airport, no hotels, and no restaurants.
Our field site, the Hanamiai dune, lies on the coast of a sheltered, pristine bay. The Hanamiai archaeological deposits reveal a continuous record from the time of initial Polynesian discovery, around 750 years ago, through the European contact period. Current work focuses on a particularly rich part of the site discovered in 2013. Our discoveries illuminate the earliest settlement of East Polynesia, a period marked by extraordinary long-distance voyaging and the emergence of Marquesan culture. The project is collaborative and community-based. It offers training in archaeological field techniques, especially excavation. There are also opportunities to get involved with Te Ana Peua (The Tahuata Museum), which conserves and exhibits artifacts from the excavation.
The Hanamiai site is located near Vaitahu Village on Tahuata. It is an easy 20 minute walk from the village to the site. Tahuata is accessible only by a one-hour boat ride from the nearby island of Hiva Oa. We fly to Hiva Oa from Tahiti on Air Tahiti.
Period(s) of Occupation: East Polynesian Archaic through European contact period (ca. AD 1250–1880).
Our recent field schools uncovered a dazzling array of pearl shell fishhooks and other treasures in a 3 m buried Archaic deposit, among the oldest in French Polynesia. The 2020 excavations will expand work in the same area.
Project Size: 1-24 participants
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Negotiable
Minimum Age: 18
Experience Required: None, but French language ability is helpful.
Room and Board Arrangements:
Our headquarters are in the picturesque village of Vaitahu. There is only one local store but it is well stocked with cold drinks, as well as the basic necessities. The field school is small and intellectually engaging. We work closely with our host community. The field team lives in a house just a short walk to the beach, in a rented house with modern kitchen and toilet facilities (no hot water). Marquesan Islanders will also participate in the dig itself, providing additional links to the community. As the only outsiders in the village, participants are immersed in the local lifestyle. Cost: $3500 project fee plus airfare to Marquesas
Dept. of Anthropology, Univ. of Hawaii
The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.