Hawai’i archaeological site data available online

Submitted by Sammy Smith (sammy@thesga.org)

Bishop_Museum_Kuliouou_shelter_1950.jpg

Excavations at Kuliouou shelter, Hawai’i, 1950, from Bishop Museum website.

In Hawai’i, the Bishop Museum is the repository of information on the state’s archaeological sites. Recently, the Museum has released this data online in a searchable database. The press release notes:

The HAS database currently contains over 12,800 archaeological sites. It is an ongoing project with additional research being added on a continuing basis.

The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889, and is the largest in the state. Its website notes that:

the Hawai’i Archaeological Survey…is intended to preserve cultural information and to be used as a resource for the Hawaiian community and others interested in studying the dynamic cultural history of Hawai’i.

Many states, including Georgia, consider archaeological site location information sensitive and do not commonly make it publicly available. Notes Bishop Museum Archaeology Collections Manager Rowan Gard:

HAS opens up archaeological site based information and literature to the greater community, on a scale that’s never been done before. Now people can search for information pertaining to their community, even their own backyard in the HAS and hopefully gain a greater understanding of the Hawaiian past that is manifested in the present landscape—geographic, as well as the cultural.

What are the pros and cons of making archaeological site data available to the public? Log in and comment….