The land rises abruptly to highland ridges with mountain summits as high as 3000 feet.
In this tropical climate, vegetation is dense, and mountain slopes are heavily wooded. The population has been projected to be sixty-five thousand in the year 2000, a 69 percent increase since 1960.
While early sites on some other islands in Polynesia are now beneath water (e.g., the Mulifanua Lapita Pottery site on 'Upolu [Green & Davidson 1967]), the evidence to date indicates that early sites in American Samoa will be found on the shores of prehistoric embankments that have subsequently filled in with sand.
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Archaeological sites representing the early occupation of Samoa will be targeted for future National Register nominations. This might explain why there was an apparent "dark ages" in Samoan prehistory - pottery bearing sites were all assumed to date to the earliest period of Samoan prehistory and hence charcoal was often not collected from upper pottery bearing deposits for dating. One site type that was probably utilized during this period are the stone quarries.
It has been conventionally accepted that pottery manufacture ceased in Samoa sometime shortly after A. 300 (see Clark & Michlovic 1996 for a summary of the conventional view; A. To date 4 large and about 6 smaller quarries have been identified on Tutuila Island.