Reflections on Historic Preservation, Archaeology and Cultural by dov51579


									Speaker 7: Hallett H. Hammatt of Cultural Surveys Hawai'i                               Page 1

   Reflections on Historic Preservation, Archaeology
          and Cultural Consultation in Hawai‘i
                               Hallett H. Hammatt, PhD
                          President, Cultural Surveys Hawai‘i

Looking back on the development and application of historic preservation laws in the
State of Hawai`i in the last 32 years, there are several events that have helped shaped
today’s historic preservation environment. One of these is the passage in 1966 of the
National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which eventually led to the establishment a
separate State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural
Resources (DLNR).

Another was the movement generally referred to as the “Hawaiian Renaissance” which
led to revitalization and increasing awareness of Hawaiian cultural values and their
application to historic preservation issues, particularly those related to Hawaiian burials
and the continuation of traditional cultural practices.

The third was the ever quickening pace of land development on the main Hawaiian
Islands. This resulted in a compelling need to address the effects of development on
archaeological sites, the physical remnants of Hawai`i’s past, as well as the effects on
traditional practices, which comprise activities and beliefs inexorably linked to living
culture. I will illustrate the implications of these events in relating the recent history of
historic preservation in Hawai`i with examples of specific projects, drawing upon my
experience as a practicing archaeologist who has navigated the evolving landscape of
historic preservation for the past 32 years.

Evolution of the Regulatory Framework in Hawai‘i
The State Historic Preservation Department of DLNR
In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the fledgling State office of Historic Preservation,
which arose from the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act, was attached to the
Division of State Parks under the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Some of
the formative influences in these early days were Stell Newman, Francis Ching, Jane
Silverman, Ralston Nagata and later Rob Hommon, Earl (“Buddy”) Neller, Don Hibbard,
Ross Cordy, and Edward Halealoha Ayau. These individuals, among many others,
contributed to the evolution of the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD), which by
the mid-1980’s had become a major regulator of archaeological work and, more
importantly, a reviewer of various county and state permits to determine potential impact
of projects on historic properties. Routinely shoreline management area permits, land
use, zoning and grading permits were stalled pending completion of archaeological

        Law Seminars International | NEPA & Hawai'i EIS Law | 8/27/07 in Honolulu, HI
Speaker 7: Hallett H. Hammatt of Cultural Surveys Hawai'i                                 Page 2
Reflections on Historic Preservation, Archaeology, and Cultural Consultation in Hawai‘i

studies or issued with conditions that included the requirement for archaeological
Burial Laws and Rules
It is interesting to note that in the 1970’s and early 1980’s the issue of human burials,
especially Hawaiian Burials, did not predominate in historic preservation initiatives. At
this time, permitting for burial treatment, including disinterment, fell under the jurisdiction
of the State Department of Health. This jurisdiction was somewhat informal compared to
today’s precise standard. Professional and public attention focused more upon
archaeological sites and historic buildings than human burials. With the convergence of
the Hawaiian Renaissance and the discovery and disinterment of over 1000 Hawaiian
burials at Honokahua, West Maui in 1988, all of this changed.

Numerous protests and escalating public concern led the State government, specifically
DLNR under the direction of Mr. William Paty, to respond. Within a few years, the State
Legislature drafted and adopted legislation and promulgated administrative rules. These
rules established five burial councils to address matters related to burials considered
older than 50 years and determined to be of Hawaiian ancestry on the islands of Kaua`i,
Ni`ihau, O`ahu, Maui, Lana`‘i, Moloka`i and Hawai`i. The rules designated two
categories of finds. First, those found in the context of archaeological inventory
surveys, referred to as “previously identified” and second, those found in the context of
construction, or “inadvertent finds.” The respective burial council is required to consider
the concerns of any identified cultural and lineal descendants and renders decisions on
the treatment of the previously identified burials. Documentation of the discovery and
treatment options are presented to the burial council in the form of a burial treatment
plan. Unless the landowner agrees to an extension, the burial council must render a
decision within 45 days. As for inadvertent finds, the SHPD decides upon their
treatment through an expedited process, considering the circumstances of ongoing
construction related to development and infrastructure improvements.

With the advent of the Island Burial Councils and the continuing involvement of Hui
Mālama I Nā Kūpuna O Hawai`i Nei, a Hawaiian burial advocacy group, and various
community and cultural groups, along with the significant civil penalties for not reporting
finds, burial issues have increasingly moved to the forefront. Multiple finds of burials
have been encountered in the course of land development and infrastructure
improvement on all islands, especially the Kona side of Hawai`i Island (Keōpū,
Hokuli`a), Maui (Kā`anapali, Wailuku-to Waikapū), O`ahu (Waikīkī and Kaka`ako), and
Kaua`i (Po`ipū, Kekaha and Kapa`a). Burial finds have been encountered in association
with water and sewer installations and improvements, highway construction and
improvements including street and traffic lights, beach park development and
improvement and grading for subdivisions. Throughout the Hawaiian Islands, wherever
there is ground disturbance, it is likely that burials will be discovered.

Interestingly, the promulgation of the rules and regulations for historic preservation
review in general, and for conduct of archaeological investigations in particular, lagged
far behind the establishment of the burial protocols. HRS chapters 275 through chapter

          Law Seminars International | NEPA & Hawai'i EIS Law | 8/27/07 in Honolulu, HI
Speaker 7: Hallett H. Hammatt of Cultural Surveys Hawai'i                                 Page 3
Reflections on Historic Preservation, Archaeology, and Cultural Consultation in Hawai‘i

284 related to historic preservation review of archaeological studies were adopted as
recently as October 2002.

With the Draft Administrative Rules for the Historic Preservation Review the late1980’s,
however, archaeological projects and reports began to conform to standards set for
various categories of studies with which most of us are now familiar. An Archaeological
Inventory Survey is the starting point of all projects. The survey includes 100%
coverage of all project lands and a full inventory of all historic properties with
significance evaluations according to the National Register criteria, and
recommendations for each historic property. These recommendations can include the

         1. no further work – the site is fully documented and not worth preserving
         2. further work in the form of data recovery and further documentation
         3. preservation of the site.

The rules established standards and content for other studies, including
Inventory Survey Plans, Data Recovery Plans, Preservation Plans, Data Recovery
Reports, and Archaeological Monitoring Plans for construction phases of projects and
Burial Treatment Plans.

Quite simply, the State Historic Preservation Division is the first and last stop for any
archaeological work and any cultural resource management projects in the State of
Hawai‘i. Complex scopes of work should be coordinated with the SHPD at the start of a
project. Permitting of development projects awaits SHPD review and approval of all
report submittals. The SHPD also hears concerns and complaints of community groups
and mediates disagreements on a wide variety of subjects related to historic

Consultation with cultural practitioners and knowledgeable community members is also
required in the administrative rules as part of the inventory survey process and should
actually be undertaken in all of the historic preservation steps, especially regarding
Preservation Plans in evaluating the selection of archaeological sites for preservation.

Act 50 and Cultural Impact Assessments

Act 50, enacted in 2000, recognizes the importance of Native Hawaiian culture in
defining the unique quality of life in Hawai‘i. The act amended the definition of
“significant effect” to include adverse effects on cultural practices. Act 50 also requires
that Environmental Impact Statements and Environmental Assessments “include the
disclosure of the effects of a proposed action on the cultural practices of the community
and the State,” thereby including Cultural Impact Assessments as part of the overall

          Law Seminars International | NEPA & Hawai'i EIS Law | 8/27/07 in Honolulu, HI
Speaker 7: Hallett H. Hammatt of Cultural Surveys Hawai'i                                 Page 4
Reflections on Historic Preservation, Archaeology, and Cultural Consultation in Hawai‘i

The scope and content of these studies is outlined in the State Office of Environmental
Quality Control document entitled “Guidelines for Assessing Cultural Impacts.”
These Cultural Impact Assessments vary in scope and complexity depending on the
nature and size of the project, the extent of estimated impact, and the environmental
parameters of the project area.

A Cultural Impact Study contains 3 basic components: 1) a background historical study
to assess the historic context and former use of project area and past cultural practices;
2) interviews with knowledgeable individuals to gain information on present cultural
practices; and, 3) summary, evaluation of impacts and proposed mitigation. These
studies overlap in some important aspects with archaeological studies. The existence of
archeological sites on a property is a crucial element in defining potential cultural
practices. Heiau, fishing shrines, trails, burial sites, and prominent natural landmarks
are particularly important. When archaeological studies and Cultural Impact
Assessments for a project are done in tandem, preliminary archaeological information
clearly informs the interview stage of the Cultural Impact Assessment.

Because human participants are involved, Cultural Impact Assessments are complex
and require meticulous attention. A carefully conceived and effectively monitored
protocol for participant contacts is necessary in order to maintain accuracy in reporting
opinions and considering sensitivities of people interviewed. These participants
unselfishly give of their time to share knowledge of the area, and it is vital to instill a
sense of confidence that their sharing will actually contribute to shaping a better future
that integrates the traditions they describe.

At present there is no formal agency review of Cultural Impact Assessment Documents,
but courtesy copies are generally sent to agencies involved such as the Office of
Hawaiian Affairs and the SHPD.

County- and Island-Based Agencies
Often the State Historic Preservation Division will require or request consultation with
the two County Cultural commissions; one on Kaua`i, called the Kaua`i Historic
Preservation Review Commission, and the other on Maui, called the Maui Cultural
Review Commission. As Kaua`i and Maui are both certified local governments, county
funds are made available to support historic preservation initiatives. These two
commissions, comprised of community members, advise the respective county planning
commission on matters of historic preservation. These community-based commissions
complement the SHPD compliance approach by bringing a local perspective to
treatment of historic sites.

On Lana`i, the Lana`i Archaeological Committee, established in the 1980’s through a
Memorandum of Understanding between community groups and Castle and Cooke, the
landowner, serves as a forum for discussion and action related to archaeological and
cultural issues inherent to the development of resorts on the island. The Lana`i

          Law Seminars International | NEPA & Hawai'i EIS Law | 8/27/07 in Honolulu, HI
Speaker 7: Hallett H. Hammatt of Cultural Surveys Hawai'i                                 Page 5
Reflections on Historic Preservation, Archaeology, and Cultural Consultation in Hawai‘i

Archaeological Committee is highly effective in its review of all projects on the island
with potential archaeological impacts. Through Castle and Cooke, the committee also
funds historical research and is involved in the establishment of a Visitors Center on

This regulatory landscape serves as the framework for the practice of historic
preservation, specifically archaeology, in the State of Hawai`i. One can encounter rough
terrain and thick vegetation at any stage in the process and most often in the early
stages. Having practiced archaeology in Hawai‘i during a time when there were few
formal regulations and standards, I believe the current system works.

A few projects I have been involved in illustrate the interplay between regulatory
parameters, community involvement and special considerations pertinent to each
project. Perhaps most important is the nature of the “development or land modification”


The modern history of the island of Kaho`olawe demonstrates the strength and long-
lasting effects of the “Hawaiian Renaissance.” Along with the construction of the
voyaging canoe Hokūle`a in the 1970’s came widespread community resistance to the
U.S. Navy’s use of the island as a target for bombing exercises. In her book Kua`aina,
Dr. Daviana McGregor describes the concept of “cultural kīpuka.” As a prime illustration
of the importance of cultural kīpuka in continuity and revival, Dr. McGregor notes that
the leaders of the movement to stop the bombing did not hail from urban centers, but
from the rural areas where traditional Hawaiian subsistence formed the basis of the
community; namely, Ke`anae, Wailuanui on East Maui, Moloka`i, and Ka`ū.

Archaeological considerations became a driving force in the early stages of the
movement to stop the bombing. The Navy sponsored archaeological surveys of the
island in the late 1970’s, and 544 archaeological sites were identified. All sites were
nominated and accepted for inclusion in the State and National Register. In response to
both survey results and community protests, the Navy used the archaeological site
survey information to designate specific target areas that avoided the site areas.

The Navy finally stopped bombing of the island in 1990. The ordnance clearance,
which began in 1998, was the largest single ordnance clearance project in the world. In
response to long-standing agreements between the Navy and the State to protect
archaeological sites during clearance, archaeologists played an instrumental role in
virtually every phase of the clearance. Cultural Surveys Hawai‘i maintained a staff of 25
archaeologists dedicated to the entire 6-year project, working closely with Parsons UXB
as they cleared the island of potentially explosive material.

Our overall goal was protection and preservation of archaeological sites. The
archaeologists worked with the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) and the

          Law Seminars International | NEPA & Hawai'i EIS Law | 8/27/07 in Honolulu, HI
Speaker 7: Hallett H. Hammatt of Cultural Surveys Hawai'i                                 Page 6
Reflections on Historic Preservation, Archaeology, and Cultural Consultation in Hawai‘i

Navy archaeologists on a daily basis. The archaeologists followed the lead of the KIRC
in establishing and maintaining five traditional cultural properties on the island which
required special consideration during clearance operations.

Ordnance clearance is always intrusive to the land, especially land that was bombed
and shelled continuously for 50 years. The clearance process involved land survey and
staking of one-hectare grids over the approximately 45 square mile island.

Vegetation clearance of each grid, surface clearance with metal detectors, subsurface
detection with EM61 magnometers, excavation, by hand, of all detected anomalies, and
blowing in place of any ordnance considered unsafe to move. The greatest potential
impact to archaeological sites was during subsurface excavation of anomalies and
during “blow-in-place” operations. If a bomb was to be blown in place, endangering a
nearby archaeological site, protective barriers were constructed to protect the site.

Teams of archaeologists surveyed each and every grid to discover, record and locate
with GPS all archeological sites before any ordnance clearance operations occurred in
that grid. Written recommendations for protection of sites specific to each grid were
distributed to clearance teams before clearance activities began. Information for each
grid, including all data related to archaeological sites as well as all phases of clearance
operations, was entered into a central database known as the Kaho`olawe Island
Geographic Information System or KIGIS. This database was accessible to all project

More than 3,000 archaeological features covering the entire 45 square mile island were
located, documented and protected by archaeologists during the project. Today
Kaho`olawe is the only island in the chain which has been the subject of a
comprehensive, thorough and systematic archaeological inventory survey.

We documented a dense cluster of prehistoric sites in the upland areas of Moa`ulanui.
Although heavily eroded, this was indicative of dense former Hawaiian settlement
associated with dry land “kula” cultivation around the deep soil deposits of Lua Makika
Crater. The survey also documented the importance and extent of the ancient industry
of adz quarrying and manufacturing on the island.

In terms of compliance with environmental regulations related to preservation of
archaeological sites as required by NEPA and NHPA, the Navy and contractors, in my
opinion, went above and beyond the simple requirements and took proactive steps to
account for potentially greater impacts of the complex and intrusive ordnance clearance

The historic preservation and management legacy of this project lies in the accessibility
and comprehensiveness of the information in the KIGIS, now maintained by the KIRC. It
is my dream that some day a comparable comprehensive GIS database becomes
available for all islands.

          Law Seminars International | NEPA & Hawai'i EIS Law | 8/27/07 in Honolulu, HI
Speaker 7: Hallett H. Hammatt of Cultural Surveys Hawai'i                                 Page 7
Reflections on Historic Preservation, Archaeology, and Cultural Consultation in Hawai‘i


The Kiahuna Project in the seaward portion of the ahupua`a of Kōloa on the island of
Kaua`i began in the mid 1970’s. I was working for an archaeological group known as
Archaeological Research Center Hawai‘i under Mr. Francis Ching. At that time, there
was no State Historic Preservation Division, and the one or two government
archaeologists were linked to the Division of State Parks. Because of community
concern and the alertness of archaeologists in that division, the County of Kaua`i asked
the developer of a golf course and housing complex to perform an archaeological
survey as a condition of a state land use change.

As the survey proceeded, it became clear that what had been described as an
afterthought by William Bennett, a Bishop Museum archaeologist in the late 1920s, was
much more than “a series of walls and terraces and house sites.” In fact, this series was
to be, without question, the largest, most intact and well integrated wetland field system
in the entire state. This system, now designated as the “Kōloa Field System,” covered
400 acres of the project area, and, we now know, extended well beyond it to the west
and east all the way to the ahupua`a boundaries.

This field system is unique because it lies not in a valley as one would expect, but on a
lava plain composed of pahoehoe flows of the Koloa volcanic series. Numerous `auwai,
(man-made water channels) crossed the system in a dendritic pattern from mauka to
makai, tapping Waikomo Stream from the vicinity of present day Kōloa town, one mile
or more mauka. Scattered throughout the fields were permanent habitation enclosures
and platforms as well as temporary shelters and animal pens. The `auwai included
aqueducts to channel water over low areas and branches of `auwai tunneled under
houses (indoor plumbing?). This system represents a brilliant example of the highly
refined engineering, organization and management skills of the ancient Hawaiians.

Following the documentation of this agricultural complex in an inventory survey report in
1978, the first phase of the golf course was built. The mitigation recommendation in the
original survey report was preservation of five key areas, each varying in size from five
to eight acres. The remainder of the development project was abandoned and although
briefly revived in the 1980’s, was not brought to completion until the last two years.

During the initial entitlements for this project, in the 1970’s, cultural issues were focused
on other developing areas of the island, specifically, plans for resort development at
Nukoli`i in Hanamā`ulu on the east shore of the island. Here, attention was focused on
shoreline access and impacts of resorts on local communities, not on archaeological
sites and historic preservation. The entitlement meetings for Kiahuna were not well
attended by the community and the conditions placed upon the entitlements were
primarily due to archaeologists’ concerns.

Is there a lesson to be learned from this project? It is true that portions of the
documented Kōloa field system have been preserved and the land owner is to be

          Law Seminars International | NEPA & Hawai'i EIS Law | 8/27/07 in Honolulu, HI
Speaker 7: Hallett H. Hammatt of Cultural Surveys Hawai'i                                 Page 8
Reflections on Historic Preservation, Archaeology, and Cultural Consultation in Hawai‘i

commended for this effort. I believe, however, that if the entitlements were to be
ongoing thirty years later, the forces for greater preservation of a unique cultural
landscape would be much more vociferous. Today in Kōloa there are active Hawaiian
cultural practitioners, including a number of individuals, the Hui Mālama O Kāne i Olo
Uma and the Kōloa neighborhood board’s cultural advocate. The people in Kōloa are
now very aware of the role that the ahupua`a played in ancient times. Indeed, this
awareness seems to increase as the plantation landscape recedes and is replaced by
residential uses.

Lana‘i Mānele and Kapiha‘ā

In the late 1980’s and 1990’s, the Island of Lana`i, 98% of which is owned by Castle and
Cooke, underwent a dramatic transformation from a pineapple plantation to a resort
economy. This transformation was not always seamless, but there was communication
with the Lana`i community from the early phases of the development of two major
resorts and adjoining golf courses. As is often the case with resort locations, they tend
to follow the same patterns of locational preference of earlier uses. The Lodge at Kō`ele
was developed in the same beautiful site as the original historic Kō`ele Ranch. This
Ranch Center was the center of economic and social activity throughout the late
nineteenth century and into the twentieth. Likewise, the Mānele Hotel and Golf course
on the south shore of the island was planned in the same area as a thriving prehistoric
community as evidenced by canoe sheds, house sites, ko`a (fishing shrines), trails, adz
quarries and a heiau.

These developments were planned and executed with participation of a fully functioning
SHPD and active community involvement through the Lana`i Archaeological Committee
and Hui Mālama o Lana`i. The surveys documented numerous sites, particularly along
the Mānele shoreline. The footprint of the Mānele Hotel was adjusted mauka to increase
the buffer between archaeological sites and the facilities and to enhance the preserve
areas containing major archaeological features.

In the case of the Mānele Golf Course there was even more flexibility. The
archaeological survey by Cultural Surveys Hawai`i documented numerous sites in the
proposed golf course area. Fortunately, from a preservationist’s as well as a developer’s
perspective, many of these sites are clustered around a small natural drainage known
as Kapiha`ā Gulch. Castle and Cooke agreed to preserve a large contiguous area that
contains prehistoric sites representing most of the aspects of ancient Hawaiian life,
including adz quarries, house sites, petroglyphs, shelters, two beautiful fishing shrines,
a heiau, and a shoreline trail.

Castle and Cooke and the Lana`i Archaeological Committee are now discussing the
long-term treatment and maintenance of this archaeological treasure, with the intention
of supporting a community group to maintain the preserve area. This preservation
initiative is a success. Indeed, Lana`i is a small island where neighbors communicate
and people are accustomed to working together or at least talking over disagreements

          Law Seminars International | NEPA & Hawai'i EIS Law | 8/27/07 in Honolulu, HI
Speaker 7: Hallett H. Hammatt of Cultural Surveys Hawai'i                                 Page 9
Reflections on Historic Preservation, Archaeology, and Cultural Consultation in Hawai‘i

without disconnecting. That certainly helps, along with the fact that Lana`i is the only
island with its own archaeological committee through which the community has been
involved in the process from the very beginning of development.

Summary and conclusions

Based on this brief 32-year glimpse, I conclude with a few guiding principles for those,
including myself, who are engaged in the dynamic field of cultural, archaeological and
historic preservation in Hawai`i.

Be patient: Archaeologists and others involved in archaeological and cultural issues
related to compliance for land development must realize that when major concerns
arise, they take time to resolve.

Be flexible: As community and regulatory climates change, adjustments in approach
are essential.

Be open and humble: We must accommodate and embrace the ever growing interest
and participation of the community, both individuals and groups, in historic preservation
issues. We must listen to each other, seeking harmony as we focus on finding common
ground. This is not about us. It is about respecting the past while shaping a positive
future for everyone.

Be generous: We must use the regulatory framework as a starting point, not an end
result. Technicalities, while important, only serve to give form to the intent. Thus, we
focus upon the intent.

Be knowledgeable and skilled: As professionals, archaeologists in Hawai‘i must
continue to nurture intimate familiarity with both the culture and the land. We must
know the place names of every project and know what they mean. We must know the
fundamentals of the language and the culture, as well as the significance of
archaeological sites to the people of Hawai‘i. And most importantly, we must seek to
understand how the Hawaiians relate to the land, both yesterday and today.

In the words of Harry Truman, “There is nothing new in the world except the history we
do not know.” Let us seek to know.

          Law Seminars International | NEPA & Hawai'i EIS Law | 8/27/07 in Honolulu, HI

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