Ancient Latte Village ‘Rediscovered’ In Guam Refuge

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First uncovered in 1920, site was never mapped, excavated

By Maria Hernandez

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 14, 2014) – An ancient latte village complex was "rediscovered" at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge in Yigo last month, according to a release from the refuge.

The latte site was originally discovered by anthropologist Hans Hornbostel in the 1920s but was not formally mapped, recorded or excavated, the release states.

The site is part of what Hornbostel had described as "a large expanse covered with 'dense latte,'" or ancient pillars used to support houses, around the northern end of Guam.

Former University of Guam associate professor of archaeology Mike Carson and refuge maintenance worker Brian Leon Guerrero came across the site while exploring the eastern part of the refuge.

"This comes as a complete surprise because we thought we knew where every sacred and significant cultural site was on the refuge," said Park Ranger Emily Sablan.

The ancient site includes eight to 10 latte sets that sit in a small clearing on the refuge.

Also found on the site were cultural midden deposits, or piles of domestic waste associated with past human settlement, which were found at each latte set and adjacent areas, the release states.

The release states at least one of the midden deposits consisted of entirely burned material without any visible artifacts.

"Depending on the material findings, new questions may be addressed in regards to the ancient social life of the latte village," the release states.

Plans are underway to submit an application to the State Historical Preservation Office for the site to be listed on the National Register of Historical Places, according to the release.

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