Samoan dating culture
This culture, known as Lapita, stands out in the Melanesian archeological record, with its large permanent villages on beach terraces along the coasts.
The Samoan Islands were first settled some 3,500 years ago as part of the Austronesian expansion.
European exploration first reached the islands in the early 18th century.
Within a mere three or four centuries between about 1300 and 900 BC, the Lapita culture spread 6000 km further to the east from the Bismarck Archipelago, until it reached as far as Samoa and Tonga.
In this region, the distinctive Polynesian culture developed.
After World War I, German Samoa became a Trust Territory and eventually became independent as Samoa in 1962.