Projects conducted in
the Pacific Islands to help develop field archaeology skills critical for historic preservation
and cultural resource management are at the same time useful in providing new archaeological data
on the islands' past. The cooperative projects provide assistance for training employees in
Micronesian governments whose responsibilities include developing and maintaining archaeological
and historic site inventories, databases and records, conserving historic and traditional cultural
sites, and approving permits for activities that would potentially affect the archaeological,
historic and cultural values of such sites. These activities are being carried out
jointly by the Historic Preservation offices in the islands and the Pacific Islands Archaeology
Program, University of Oregon. The project is coordinated with a Bishop Museum project that has
included other field training efforts in Tahiti and in Vanuatu. Archaeological results include
new site mapping and data on stone money carved in Palau for use in Yap and architectural sites
on Pohnpei at Nan Madol and Imwinsapw.
This training project has been supported by the Island HPO offices.
Outside funding is primarily from the Sasakawa Foundation, Japan, and the University of
Oregon and coordinated with Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto, Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Hawaii.
Ms. Victoria N. Kanai, the Chief of the Historic Preservation Office in the Division of
Cultural Affairs, is the key administrator of the project on Palau.
The Pohnpei key administrator is Mr. Emensio Eperiam, Head, Historic Preservation Office, Department of Lands and Natural Resources. Dr. Rufino Mauricio, Chief Archaeologist of the Historic Preservation Office, Federated States of Micronesia, has encouraged these projects as well.
The projects include on-island activities in archaeology, including archaeological field
survey, site recognition and definition, various levels of mapping, and site description
formats. As well, efforts at developing oral history references,
reviewing historical documentary evidence, and working with databases are included.
A site records management project is being developed. The overall Micronesian project
is managed by William S. Ayres, Professor of Anthropology, University of Oregon, who
has had extensive experience in Pacific archaeology and historic preservation.
Projects have been led in the field by Ayres, Scott Fitzpatrick, MA, a Ph.D. student
specializing in Pacific Islands archaeology at the University of Oregon, and Dr.
Christophe Descantes, who has a PhD in Pacific archaeology. These co-instructors
participate as part of the Department of Anthropology's Cultural Resources Management
Program, which has a long history of working with Native American tribal groups as
well as Pacific Islanders in helping manage cultural resources. Specifics for the
training come in part from the guidelines developed by Ayres and Mauricio from the
Salapwuk, Pohnpei, project done in 1989-90 as part of the Micronesian Resources
Survey program and found in the report:
Salapwuk Archaeology: A Survey of Historic and Cultural Resources on Pohnpei,
Federated States of Micronesia. It also continues the training and research
outlined in the report entitled: Historic Preservation Field Archaeology
Ayres, William S., and Rufino Mauricio (1999) "Definition, Ownership and Conservation
of Indigenous Landscapes at Salapwuk, Pohnpei, Micronesia." In The Archaeology and Anthropology of the Landscape: Shaping your landscape, P. Ucko and R. Layton, eds., pp. 298-321. Proceedings, World Archaeological Congress-3. London: Routledge.
Ayres, William S., and Rufino Mauricio. 1997 Pohnpei Archaeology Component:
Salapwuk Archaeology: Survey of Historic and Cultural Resources of Pohnpei State.
San Francisco: Micronesian Endowment for Historic Preservation and U.S. National Park Service.
Fitzpatrick, S. M. and V. N. Kanai. 1997. Palau Five Year Historical and Cultural
Preservation Plan: 1998-2003. Report Submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior,
Office of Insular Affairs. San Francisco: U.S. National Park Service.