Creating a Kaua’i archaeology center is focus of workshop at Kaua’i Community College

Creation of an archaeology center at Kaua’i Community College is the focus of a three-day workshop set to begin Tuesday at Kaua’i Community College.

“The Planning & Design of an Archaeological Center – A Workshop” is the title of the gathering.

The event is being led by veteran Kaua’i archaeologist William “Pila” Kikuchi, and precedes the three-day statewide annual Hawaiian Archaeology Conference, also to be held at KCC.

Kikuchi said the project will help preserve archaeological artifacts, organize information about Kaua’i’s archaeological sites and artifacts and become a center for dissemination of information about materials stored at the center.

The program for the workshop states problems being faced in preserving local artifacts. They include: archaeological materials in most collections are deteriorating; archaeological materials from Kaua’i are scattered; and all archaeological materials from Kaua’i should be brought back to the island.

Among the artifacts in storage at KCC is the collection of Kaua’i archaeologist Francis Ching, Kikuchi said.

Solutions proposed include creating a controlled environment for storage; use the center as a place where artifacts can be voluntarily contributed, building upon the existing collection located at KCC; creation of county laws requiring a permit for archaeological work that would direct what would happen to artifacts discovered; gathering of reports on Kaua’i artifacts, even if the artifacts no longer exist.

The proposed center would also guard the artifacts against damage from hurricanes and other disasters, and become an educational, training and research center for the field of Kaua’i archaeology.

This is to get people together to start a yearly event that would focus on developing the center and moving ahead its work, Kikuchi said of the workshop.

Kikuchi also hopes to initiate turning printed archaeological documents into electronic formats that could be published on CD-ROM or over the Internet. Future plans could include creation of wrap-around 360-degree full dimensional digital views of artifacts.

A wide range of Kaua’i based organizations are helping with the meeting including museums and state agencies involved with archaeology.

Kikuchi said the cooperation being shown by the organizations is encouraging and will help with organizing the archaeological center and its work.

Training of student docents to help with the archaeological preservation work is part of the plan.

The workshop is scheduled to run from Tuesday, Oct. 8 through Thursday, Oct. 10. at various locations on the KCC campus and the public is invited.

Reports from archaeological work on Kaua’i would be gathered as part of the collection.

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