The Archaeology of Recent Fills on O'ahu: The He'eia Fishpond Caretaker's House Site

Date
06/01/13 12:00 AM
Authors
Allen, Jane
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13
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1
Starting Page
131
Ending Page
155
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Abstract
Twentieth-century fills, which are by now encountered at virtually every archaeological site on O'ahu, are generally considered meaningless as contexts. Their cultural contents are usually treated only as isolates. The results of analysis of an extensive and varied collection of post-Contact artifacts recovered in 2009- 2010 from fills at the house site of the caretaker of windward O'ahu's historic He'eia Fishpond, however, suggest that even 20th-century fills can produce important information. Two distinct, although chronologically overlapping, assemblages appear likely to have been used _by two different consumer groups. One assemblage, dominated by W estem ceramics manufactured between 1870 and circa 1910, was probably used by former fishpond caretakers and their guests. The other assemblage, dominated by Asian wares manufactured between the 1870s and the 1930s or 1940s, was used by Asian residents in nearby areas including the former Japanese Fishing Village, which housed laborers who worked at He'eia Agricultural (Sugar) Company and Libby, McNeill and Libby's later pineapple plantation, and then, after the plantations failed, Asian residents who fished offshore for a living. These findings suggest that, in spite of their secondary depositional contexts, 20th-century fills and the materials they contain can yield important archaeological information about past life in an area, and about its former occupants.
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He'eia Fishpond, post-Contact artifacts, Asian wares, Cultural Resource Management, soil studies, sedimentological studies, Loko He'eia, sugar mill, spongewares, glass artifacts, ceramic wares
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25 pages
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