Lecture on Ritidian archaeological research today


The Northern Marianas Humanities Council cordially invites the public to a presentation by visiting archaeologist Dr. Mike Carson that will be held at Charley’s Cabaret, Pacific Islands Club Saipan, this evening, March 3, from 6 to 8 pm.

Carson will share the results of his recent archaeological research at the Ritidian (Litekyan) Archaeological Site on the northernmost tip of Guam, which holds a continuous record of 3,500 years of cultural history of the Mariana Islands.

This site, now a part of the Ritidian Unit of the Guam National Wildlife Refuge, is well known for its many painted images inside caves, as well as for the remains of a latte village last occupied in the 1600s during the time of early Spanish contact.

Beneath the surface, the site also possesses deep and ancient layers dating back 3,500 years, when the Mariana Islands were first inhabited by people coming from Island Southeast Asia.

These layers possess a wide variety of ceramic, bone, stone, and shell artifacts including unique types associated with the earliest settlement of the island.

Carson’s research provides a look into what life was like at the site at different points of time.

The archaeological evidence shows how people adjusted to the changing conditions of sea level and their environment, how they built different kinds of houses and villages, and how they lived in their evolving landscape over more than three thousand years.

Carson is a visiting Associate Professor of Archaeology at the University of Guam and a faculty of the Australian National Museum.

Carson and his wife, Dr. Hsiao-chun Hung, have authored several published works relating to their research including “First Settlement of Remote Oceania: Earliest Sites in the Marianas.”

This presentation is sponsored by the Northern Marianas Humanities Council as a part of its ongoing Community Lecture Series. It is open to the public and free of charge.

For more information about this upcoming event, please call council staff at 235-4785.

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