Hawaiian Archaeology Volume 06

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Radiocarbon Dating Land Snails and Polynesian Land Use on the Island of Kaua'i, Hawai'i
    ( 1997-06-01) Dixon, Boyd ; Soldo, David ; Christensen, Charles C.
    The exact chronology of the first settlement of Hawai'i was a topic of much speculation (Irwin 1993; Dye 1989) generations before the introduction of radiocarbon dating to Pacific archaeology by Emory (Libby 1951). Traditional Hawaiian genealogies were first used to calculate initial settlement in the 5th century A. D. (Fomander 1969) while archaeological models postulated an arrival date of about A.D. 750 (Sinoto 1970; 1983; Bellwood 1978; Jennings 1979), based in part on seriations of diagnostic attributes in fishhooks (Sinoto 1962) and other artifacts (Kirch 1974; Cordy 1974; Sinoto 1967). Kirch (1985) later suggested that initial colonization occurred circa A.D. 300, if not before (Kirch 1986). More recently, debate has become focused in two camps, one cautiously favoring the beginning of the first millenium (Hunt and Holsen 1991) and the other favoring dates no earlier than A.D. 600-950 (Spriggs and Anderson 1993).
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    The Maunawili Core: Prehistoric Inland Expansion of Settlement and Agriculture, Q'ahu, Hawai'i
    ( 1997-06-01) Athens, J. Stevens ; Ward, Jerome V.
    This article presents the results of a sediment coring project undertaken at a small unnamed wetland in upper Maunawili Valley on windward O'ahu, Hawai'i. Recent paleoenvironmental research in Hawai'i has documented a dramatic decline in the native lowland forest starting ca. 950 B.P. (A.D.1000; Athens and Ward 1993, Athens et al. 1992). This decline included the severe reduction of the native lowland Pritchardia palm forest, the extirpation and near extinction of at least one major endemic species (i.e., Kanaloa kahoolawensis), and the serious reduction of other native species. Although the exact mechanism for this change remains unclear, it is virtually certain that the arrival of Polynesian settlers in Hawai'i, perhaps sometime after 1250 B.P. (A.D.700; see Spriggs and Anderson 1993, Athens and Ward 1993:219, Athens et al. 1992:10), was intimately tied to the onset of the forest decline.
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    Front Matter, Table of Contents, Editorial
    ( 1997-06-01) Tuggle, David
    A sentence in the lead article of a recent American Antiquity took me by surprise. Elizabeth Brumfiel wrote that "personal experience has taught many archaeologists that data do make a difference." My decade-long absence from the halls of academe left me poorly prepared for the headwayan extreme relativism has made in our field. At first I thought Brumfiel was spoofing-does any prehistorian really think that data don't make a difference? But it's true, relativists have advanced the propositions that archaeological research is purely a social product and nothing more than politics. Brumfiel's article is a dead serious first-person testimony to an instance when data did make a difference-in this case a change in her understanding of Indian women's resistance to tribute collection in Aztec and colonial Mexico brought about by study of archaeological assemblages. Her point is that prehistorians are not free to write whatever they want about the past, guided solely by social and political forces of the moment. Rather, they are constrained in what they can write by archaeological (and I would add, other) evidence. They learn about the past from archaeological data. Data do make a difference.
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    The 'Ewa Plain
    ( 1997-06-01) Tuggle, David
    It was called the Plain of Kaupe'a, or Pu'uokapolei, or Kai'ona,l this scorched limestone corner of O'ahu now know as the 'Ewa Plain, part of the ahupua'a of Honouliuli, in the moku of'Ewa (Fig. 1). From a vantage point at the southern tip of the Wai'anae mountains, one can see the mountain-side level out to meet the plain (Fig. 2), unremarkable except for its expanse, the distant edge blurring into ocean. The landform of the plain is an emerged reef that stretches from Pearl Harbor to the Wai'anae coast (Fig. 3). The lower portion is exposed limestone pocked with sinkholes, the upper portion is covered by a soil mantle. This is a hot land that goes without rain for weeks or months, then may endure the downpour of a kona storm dropping rain measured in inches per hour, water that disappears into the limestone, leaving few surface drainage channels. Only one feature breaks the slope of this land: the small cinder cone of Pu'uokapolei, which stands along the upper edge of the plain. Pu'uokapolei was the common landmark for travelers of the nineteenth century making the hard journey between the upper Pearl Harbor area and Wai'anae, with hot, barren Kaupe'a well known as a place of spirits without good intentions (I'i 1963:27, 29; Nakuina 1990:54; Fornander 1916-20, V:318; Pukui 1943:60). To the Hawaiians of old Pu'uokapolei was not only a landmark, but a place of spiritual force, associated with Kamapua'a,2 his grandmother Kamaunua-Niho, and the sisters of Pele, particularly Hi'iaka and Kapo' ulakina'u, the eponymous deity of the hill.