Fa'ahia site, Huahine (Holocene of French Polynesia)

Where: French Polynesia (16.7° S, 151.0° W: paleocoordinates 16.7° S, 151.0° W)

• coordinate estimated from map

• outcrop-level geographic resolution

When: Holocene (0.0 - 0.0 Ma)

• The site lies below the modern water table at the edge of a northwest-facing coastal lagoon near the village of Fare. The stratigraphy is fairly uniform across the site. Layer I (thickness 10-20 cm) consists of humus, grass roots, and sand. Layer II (thickness 6-17 cm) is a yellowish-gray sand. All artifacts and bones are concentrated in Layer III, a brownish-gray silty sand 10-15 cm thick (Sinoto and McCoy, 1975: Table 1, Figures 3-5; Sinoto, 1979: Figures 3 and 4; Sinoto, 1983; Pigeot, 1986: Figures 3, 29-31). [This culturally and faunally rich stratum has been called Layer V at Vaito' otia and Layer III (or C) at Fa' ahia.] Layer III is darker, more organic, and siltier than the other layers. It intercepts the modern water table and is underlain by white, clean, culturally sterile beach sand (Layer IV). That the cultural layer is underwater today is due to regional tectonic subsidence. The radiocarbon (14C) chronology of Fa'ahia has not been summarized in detail. An unstated number of 14C dates on wood, charcoal, and whalebone collagen range from 1145 +/- 90 to 770 +/- 90 yr B.P. (Sinoto, 1983). Sinoto (1988: 114,127) stated that the site was occupied from A.D. 650-700 to A.D. 1150. It is likely that most bird bones from Fa' ahia predate A.D. 1000 because interisland comparisons of diagnostic lithic and shell artifacts suggest that most cultural activity at the site probably occurred in the earlier part of the occupational time interval. It also may be that the initial occupation of the Fa'ahia site slightly predates the earliest 14C date currently available.

• bed-level stratigraphic resolution

Environment/lithology: lagoonal; unlithified, silty sandstone

• The culturally rich sediment at Fa'ahia (Layer III) seems to represent a mix of low energy beach and lagoonal deposits, with the organic silts of the latter being the key to long-term preservation of organic materials.

Size class: macrofossils

Primary reference: D. W. Steadman. 1989. A new species of starling (Sturnidae, Aplonis) from an archaeological site on Huahine, Society Islands. Notornis 36:161-169 [M. Clapham/M. Clapham]more details

Purpose of describing collection: archaeological analysis

PaleoDB collection 194675: authorized by Matthew Clapham, entered by Matthew Clapham on 25.06.2018

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)

Taxonomic list

 Passeriformes - Acrocephalidae
Acrocephalus caffer3 Sparrman 1786 Tahiti reed warbler
 Passeriformes - Sturnidae
Aplonis diluvialis n. sp. Steadman 1989 Huahine starling
 Gruiformes - Rallidae
"Porzana tabuensis" = Zapornia tabuensis3, Gallirallus storrsolsoni n. sp.1, Porphyrio mcnabi n. sp.1
"Porzana tabuensis" = Zapornia tabuensis3 Gmelin 1789 spotless crake
Gallirallus storrsolsoni n. sp.1 Kirchman and Steadman 2006 rail
Porphyrio mcnabi n. sp.1 Kirchman and Steadman 2006 rail
 Psittaciformes - Psittaculidae
Vini vidivici3 Steadman and Zarriello 1987 conquered lorikeet
Vini sinotoi3 Steadman and Zarriello 1987 Sinoto's lorikeet
 Columbiformes - Columbidae
Columbidae indet.3 Illiger 1811 dove
Gallicolumba nui3 Steadman 1992 dove
Ducula galeata3 Bonaparte 1855 Marquesas imperial-pigeon
Ducula aurorae3 Peale 1848 Polynesian imperial-pigeon
"Gallicolumba erythroptera" = Alopecoenas erythropterus3 Gmelin 1789 Polynesian ground-dove
Ptilinopus purpuratus3 Gmelin 1789 gray-green fruit-dove
Macropygia arevarevauupa3 Steadman 1992 dove
 Coraciiformes - Alcedinidae
"Halcyon cf. tuta" = Todiramphus tutus3
"Halcyon cf. tuta" = Todiramphus tutus3 Gmelin 1788 chattering kingfisher
 Procellariiformes - Procellariidae
Procellariidae indet.3 Vigors 1825 petrel
Puffinus nativitatis3 Streets 1877 Christmas shearwater
Puffinus lherminieri3 Lesson 1839 Audubon's shearwater
Pterodroma sp.3 Bonaparte 1856 petrel
Pterodroma heraldica3 Salvin 1888 herald petrel
as Pterodroma arminjoniana
Pterodroma alba3 Gmelin 1789 phoenix petrel
"Pterodroma rostrata" = Pseudobulweria rostrata3 Peale 1848 Tahiti petrel
"Puffinus pacificus" = Ardenna pacifica3 Gmelin 1789 wedge-tailed shearwater
 Pelecaniformes - Ardeidae
"Ardeola striata" = Butorides striata3, Egretta sacra3
"Ardeola striata" = Butorides striata3 Linnaeus 1758 striated heron
Egretta sacra3 Gmelin 1789 Pacific reef-heron
 Suliformes - Sulidae
Sula sp.3 Brisson 1760 booby
Sula sula3 Linnaeus 1766 red-footed booby
Sula leucogaster3 Boddaert 1783 brown booby
 Suliformes - Fregatidae
Fregata sp.3 Lacépède 1799 frigatebird
Fregata minor3 Gmelin 1789 Great frigatebird
Fregata ariel3 Gray 1845 Lesser frigatebird
 Phaethontiformes - Phaethontidae
Phaethon lepturus3 Daudin 1802 white-tailed tropicbird
 Charadriiformes - Scolopacidae
"Heteroscelus incanus" = Tringa incana3, Numenius tahitiensis3
"Heteroscelus incanus" = Tringa incana3 Gmelin 1789 wandering tattler
Numenius tahitiensis3 Gmelin 1789 bristle-thighed curlew
 Charadriiformes - Charadriidae
Pluvialis dominica3 Mueller 1776 American golden plover
 Charadriiformes - Laridae
Anous minutus3 Boie 1844 black noddy
Anous stolidus3 Linnaeus 1758 brown noddy
Sterninae indet.3 Bonaparte 1838 tern
Gygis alba3 Sparman 1786 white tern
Larus utunui n. sp.2 Steadman 2002 Huahine gull
 Galliformes - Phasianidae
Gallus gallus3 Linnaeus 1758 chicken