Excavations at the Ureia Site, Aitutaki, Cook Islands: Preliminary Results

TitleExcavations at the Ureia Site, Aitutaki, Cook Islands: Preliminary Results
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsAllen, MS, Steadman, DW
JournalArchaeology in Oceania
In 1987 we excavated 11m² of cultural deposit at the Ureia site (AIT10), Aitutaki, Cook Islands. First discovered and excavated by Peter Bellwood in 1970, the coastal Ureia site is very rich in midden, particularly fish bone and marine molluscs. We identified 13 main stratigraphic layers at Ureia, of which Layers III, V, and VII represent the primary concentrations of cultural materials. Nine radiocarbon dates on charcoal range from 200 ± 50 yr BP (Layer III) to 1040 ± 80 yr BP (Layer VII). Our attempts to date the presumably older strata that underlie Layer VII have been unsuccessful. The Ureia site has yielded bones of two species of birds that no longer occur on Aitutaki: the Sooty Crake (Porzana tabuensis) and an extinct, undescribed species of whistling duck (cf. Dendrocygna).