Spatial Technology and the Search for Archaic State Society in the Hawaiian Islands

Author(s): Mark McCoy

Year: 2015


Architecture holds a special place in archaeological reconstructions of past societies. I discuss how advances in the application of spatial technology in the study of architecture in the Hawaiian Islands has put us in a better position to describe how the creation of an archaic state society shaped this all-important material indicator of social change. I draw upon forms that are commonplace – house complexes, fields, and small temples and shrines – as well as less common classes of architecture more likely to be found at royal centers, such as monumental scaled religious architecture, massive walls used to define specialized precincts, and public venues built for sports and ceremonies. Recording architectural remains continues to begin with traditional field survey, which has been joined by high precision GPS, laser scanning, and the use of spatial data from previous surveys and historic era maps, as well as increasing use of data derived from remote sensing and predictive modelling. The cumulative effects of the application of spatial technology are already being felt in how we look at emic classifications of architecture in archaeology, investigate cultural traditions first recorded at the time of European contact, and identify the pervasiveness of state power.

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Cite this Record

Spatial Technology and the Search for Archaic State Society in the Hawaiian Islands. Mark McCoy. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395050)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;