Pacific Paleoclimates

For several years I have been interested in investigating the role of climate change in the recent prehistory of the Pacific.  Thus far my research has focused on the effects of ENSO in Fijian prehistory (Field 2003, 2004), and I have gathered proxy data from a variety of sources in the Pacific and elsewhere.  I am also interested in tracing the effects of broader climatic transitions that are less well understood, such as the transition from the Little Climatic Optimum to the Little Ice Age in the 14th century. I believe that Pacific archaeologists need to incorporate these variables into their models of population growth, conflict, voyaging, and cultural elaboration in order to fully understand the paths of history.  Current research in Fiji incorporates the study of fire history and regional climate; I also see the possibility for more direct paleoclimatic research via the study of cave formations in the Sigatoka Valley.  My future research will develop a research program that incorporates the study of these caves as data sources.

View out of Tatuba Cave, Sigatoka Valley, Fiji

View out of Tatuba Cave, Sigatoka Valley, Fiji

Cave formation, Naihehe Cave, Sigatoka Valley, Fiji.

Cave formation, Naihehe Cave, Sigatoka Valley, Fiji.

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