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Defensive fortification sites, often located high on ridges and mountains, are characteristic of this period.
These fortifications were used as refuges to which those individuals not directly involved moved and where the warriors retreated when necessary (Williams 1984).
The late prehistoric sites at Maloata (Ayers & Eisler 1987) and Fagatele Bay (Frost 1978), both on Tutuila, and Faga on Ta'u, are village sites from this time period that are being nominated to the National Register.
The ideal layout of a Samoan village was a central open space, called a malae, surrounded by meeting houses, chiefs' houses, other residences and cooking houses.
Quarries continued to be used during this time period.
The final prominent site type from late prehistory are tia seu lupe, called star mounds in English.
Archaeological sites dating from the early period of occupation are primarily habitation sites and are expected to be mostly coastal (e.g., Kirch & Hunt eds. Material remains in these sites can include some or all of the following: pottery (the classic Lapita pottery is decorated with motifs impressed into the clay with dentate stamps), basalt flakes and tools, volcanic glass, shell fishhooks and tools for their manufacture, shell ornaments, and faunal remains.
1993) and 'Aoa on Tutuila (Clark & Michlovic 1996).
The first recorded European contact occurred in 1722, when Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen sighted several of the islands.
He was followed by French explorers Louis-Antoine de Bougainville in 1768 and Jean-FranÁois de La PÈrouse in 1787.
Archaeological sites representing the early occupation of Samoa will be targeted for future National Register nominations. This might explain why there was an apparent "dark ages" in Samoan prehistory - pottery bearing sites were all assumed to date to the earliest period of Samoan prehistory and hence charcoal was often not collected from upper pottery bearing deposits for dating. One site type that was probably utilized during this period are the stone quarries.
It has been conventionally accepted that pottery manufacture ceased in Samoa sometime shortly after A. 300 (see Clark & Michlovic 1996 for a summary of the conventional view; A. To date 4 large and about 6 smaller quarries have been identified on Tutuila Island.