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The Pulemelei mound
is the largest and most ancient structure in Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...
It is situated in Letolo Plantation in the Palauli
Palauli is a district and village of Samoa, with a population of 8,984. It consists of two sections on the southern side of Savai'i...
district, at the east end of Savai'i
Savaii is the largest and highest island in Samoa and the Samoa Islands chain. It is also the biggest landmass in Polynesia outside Hawaii and New Zealand. The island of Savai'i is also referred to by Samoans as Salafai, a classical Samoan term used in oratory and prose...
island in Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...
The stone mound is a pyramid constructed of natural basalt
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...
stones and at its base measures 65m x 60m and has a height of about 12m. Excavations have revealed that it was probably constructed sometime between 1100-1400 AD and was no longer used by 1700-1800 AD.
Archaeological surveys by Gregory Jackmond
Gregory Jackmond is an American who carried out extensive archaeological field work in Samoa during the 1970s.Jackmond surveyed pre-historic ruins inland from Sapapali'i and another large settlement in Palauli district where the Pulemelei Mound is situated. His work on Savai'i occurred while he was...
in 1977-1978 recorded 3000 features including stone platforms, stone fences, pathways and earth ovens.
Known throughout the Pacific as the cradle of Polynesia.