A 2012 test excavation and archaeoastronomical analysis at one of the most notable sites — the roughly 40-meter-square walled structure pictured below — 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. Excavation will be needed to determine whether these are cultural features or natural rock formations beneath the surface.


An example of a GPR image from the survey.

GPR at Pa

Dr. Scott Byram, assisted by Dr. Timothy Gill, gather GPR data at the Pa archaeological site.

Pre-contact walled structure.

Dr. Pat Kirch recording archaeological features.

Dr. Pat Kirch utilizing a plane table to map archaeological sites.

Dr. Pat Kirch inspecting soil removed from a test pit.

Dr. Timothy Gill supervising the location of test pits.

Student researchers examining soil in an excavated test pit.

© Gill 'Ewa Lands LLC

Student researchers examining soil in an excavated test pit.