Categorized | Education

Hawaiian Archaeological Survey database online


Bishop Museum has launched of its Hawaiian Archaeological Survey (HAS) on-line database.

This searchable database contains information on sites in Hawaii excavated by Bishop Museum archaeologists.

“HAS opens up archaeological site based information and literature to the greater community, on a scale that’s never been done before,” Bishop Museum Archaeology Collections Manager Rowan Gard said.

“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,” he said.

Soon after its founding in 1889, Bishop Museum began to study and document the archaeological record of the Hawaiian archipelago. These endeavors resulted in the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian artifacts totaling over a million and representing Native Hawaiian and historic Hawaii immigrant life.

In 2008, the state Legislature (HB 2955 and SB 2668) recognized the Museum’s past and present actions by designating Bishop Museum as the portal for the Hawaii Archaeological Survey.

This 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 Hawaii.

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

Bishop Museum’s Department of Anthropology staff is already working on the second version of the HAS database in hopes of offering the option of viewing over 500 downloadable archaeological research manuscripts in a searchable PDF format, as well as thousands of artifact images.

President/CEO Timothy Johns said, “The HAS database showcases some of the work Bishop Museum has pioneered in anthropological research. Our staff continues to be at the forefront in providing seminal research and information on the ethnographic and archaeological materials of Oceania to people of the Pacific themselves and the larger international community.”

Bishop Museum’s mission is to study, preserve, and tell the stories of the natural and cultural history of Hawaii and the Pacific. It is designated as the State Museum of Natural and Cultural History. With more than 24 million catalogued objects, Bishop Museum’s collection ranks among the top 10 in the world.

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