Archaeology

The focus of most of the archaeological research sponsored by Gill 'Ewa Lands, LLC, has been a structure known as "The Pā," a rough square consisting of 40-meter stone walls.  Carbon-14 dating of charcoal found beneath the walls indicates that this structure was built between AD 1500 and 1648.  An intriguing nearby site which features a series of flat-faced vertical stones has been dated to no earlier than AD1650.

For an interpretive guide to The Pā, please click here.  To arrange for a guided visit, please see our Learning page.

 

A 2012 test excavation and archaeoastronomical analysis at The Pā concluded that the site was likely associated with the annual Makahiki harvest season.  

 

Read about those findings in this article published in 2015 by the Journal of the Polynesian Society.

Then, in February 2014, Dr. Scott Byram performed a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey with assistance from Dr. Timothy Gill and Andrea Gill. Scott Bryam and Timothy Gill are affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley Archaeological Research Facility. 

The equipment, which resembles a small sled, was towed by hand across the interior of the Pa stone enclosure in measured transects.


Geophysical radar data are generated with GPR by sending pulses of radar energy into the ground at specific time intervals. The energy reflected off buried objects, features or strata is detected as the waves return to a receiving antenna. The GPR mapping appeared to show buried stone concentrations, but subsequent excavation in 2017 did not find any structures or features of interest.

 

Another test excavation in February 2018 obtained additional charcoal for dating from the walled structure and a nearby site featuring an alignment of standing stones.  Read about the findings in this article published in 2019 in the Journal of Pacific Archaeology

 

In January 2020, a team of archaeologists associated with the University of California, Berkeley completed additional excavations, removing soil samples for micromorphology analysis.  Lab work was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic but is underway as of early 2021.
 

"The Pa"
"The Pa"

A Hawaiian walled structure dating to the 1500's

press to zoom
The "Marae"
The "Marae"

A series of vertical standing stones.

press to zoom
2020 Micromorphology Sample
2020 Micromorphology Sample

Dr. Tim Gill holds a micromorphology sample

press to zoom
"The Pa"
"The Pa"

A Hawaiian walled structure dating to the 1500's

press to zoom
1/10