2024 ARCHAEOLOGY OF Oahu and two of the cook islands: TRAVEL ARCHAEOLOGY SERIES

Visitors can stroll the grounds of the museum, which have plants clearly identified, and also visit their science building.

The exhibits included some newly shared information about trans-oceanic people. The interpretive map of Banaba (below) shows how people may have known about other islands that were far away.  A resource like this island would have been an incredible place for distant human populations to come into contact with each other. 

In historic times, people traveled to Banaba to obtain the bird guano for fertilizer. In prehistoric times, seafaring people would have followed specific bird species, knowing that they were going to land after a certain distance. 
The serrated surface of the island of Banaba-the result of 80 years of mining. Photo credit: Janice Cantieri

The museum’s exhibit illustrating the frame construction of thatched dwellings was informative.  These structures had to be anchored when constructed on lava, such as on the Big Island.

The display of fishhooks was especially important, as Pacific island sites are often dated and culturally associated by the fishhooks and other tools recovered from archaeological sites.

After hiking a few historic areas on Oahu, it was time to wave goodbye to Oahu turtles and go on to Rarotonga.

Aloha from a turtle in Oahu.
A lovely sunset on Rarotonga. A wonderful welcome by people on the Cook Islands started this part of the journey off just perfectly.

On Rarotonga, we chartered a tour with Raro Safari Tours. Our contact there, Tea, made sure that everything would be perfect.  A personalized tour of archaeological and cultural sites was even better than expected, with a cultural spokesman, an actual chief, an island holy person, and a sociolinguist and ethnologist, all of whom shared much information about sites.

A personalized tour was so important, in finding sites but also learning about them from island notables.
We were free to explore the beauty of the island, and enjoy some interpretive areas developed just for people to wander and enjoy.
The people shown above (and those behind the scenes) include Makiuti Tongiia, Samuel Crocombe, and Sam.  Also, Tutu (from Highland paradise) invited everyone to her cultural show.  Chief Danny presided over our journey, making the tour perfect.

We then traveled to Aitutaki, for snorkeling and information from islanders about important areas and activities there.