MicSem Media Productions

Before We Began Counting Years

2018 (45 mins) Island Topics #77 CULTURAL HISTORY

Thousands of years before latte stones and hollowed lusong rocks began appearing, a group of seafarers first settled in the Marianas. Others soon followed. We see the traces of these first settlers in a few coastal villages–places like Achugao on Saipan, Unai Chulu on Tinian, and Ritidian on Guam. These early settlers arrived more than two thousand years before the beginning of what is known as the Latte Period, long before anyone began counting years. Who were these people? Where did they come from? What do we know about their lifestyle?

This documentary surveys the work done by archaeologists over the years, especially the recent work by Dr. Michael Carson, to offer answers to these questions. From the fragments of pottery and the shell tools and ornaments that have been excavated we can learn something of how these early people might have lived.

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