Land Use and the Human-Environment Interaction on Olosega Island, Manu'a, American Samoa
Quintus, Seth James
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The human-environment relationship has often been characterized as one of human adaptation. This particular view has now come into questions as critiques have shown that the relationship is complex and dynamic. In archaeology, one way of examining this relationship is to study the settlement, subsistence, and land use of a given area. This thesis serves that purpose by providing a case study of a small island in the Samoan archipelago in the central Pacific. The survey of Olosega Island identified over 200 different features distributed across the interior. Although no test excavation was conducted, it is interpreted that these features relate to domestic, subsistence, ceremonial, and political activities that likely occurred in the later prehistoric period. The combination of these features, supplemented by environmental data from the interior and further archaeological work along the coast, indicates that the human population was a member of a complex and dynamic system with its environment. Through time, this system likely evolved in a number of ways, not just adaptive, that often caused changes requiring responses by both the human population and the environment of the area.