This paper presents a provenance study of 170 ceramic artifacts and 21 ceramic tiles from three islands in the Samoan archipelago using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Our analyses confirm that LA-ICP-MS can be used to differentiate between clay formations on a single island. We identify different distribution patterns for pottery recovered from lowland and highland sites on Tutuila Island. We also examine evidence for movement of pottery between islands, and find only limited evidence for such movement. Our findings suggest dynamic patterns of prehistoric interaction and site use that need to be evaluated with further data from across the archipelago.
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