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Integrating Archaeological and Historical Information to Identify Agricultural Features and Reconstruct Traditional Hawaiian Irrigation Networks in windward Kohala, Hawai‘i Island

Author(s): Michael Graves ; Joseph Birkmann ; Kekuewa Kikiloi

Year: 2017

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Summary

Where landscapes have been modified by recent development, identifying surface archaeological features requires a different analytical approach. In windward Kohala, Hawai‘i Island, after more than 150 years of land conversion to commercial agriculture features that comprised traditional Hawaiian irrigation agriculture have been mostly obscured. To address this, several sources of information were collected including historic documents and maps, previous and recent archaeological surveys, and remote sensing. These were georeferenced, converted to GIS files, and combined. From this it was possible to reconstruct not only the locations and extent of former fields and irrigation ditches, but also to identify the spatial linkages among them. Agricultural networks were formed that linked water sources from streams in the uplands with ditches and natural drainages to deliver irrigation to a series of plots and fields at lower elevations. Water was transported out of its stream drainage onto neighboring ridge lands where plots were established and occasionally diverted into other drainages. These networks not only linked agricultural features across the landscape, they also crossed traditional community boundaries suggesting cooperative organization at larger social scales dated from AD 1650-1850.


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Integrating Archaeological and Historical Information to Identify Agricultural Features and Reconstruct Traditional Hawaiian Irrigation Networks in windward Kohala, Hawai‘i Island. Michael Graves, Joseph Birkmann, Kekuewa Kikiloi. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429080)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15199

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America