Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Discovery Of Possible Artifact Halts Hawaii Park Development

waimanalo_beach_park_3.jpg
Catherine Cruz
/
HPR

A Hawaii park development project has been delayed following the discovery of a possible artifact on the grounds, officials said.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell halted the project at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on Tuesday while officials wait for further information from the Oahu Island Burial Council and the State Historic Preservation Division.

Work is being temporarily halted in "an abundance of caution" as experts try to determine what the object is and whether its discovery over the weekend means other items could be in the area, Caldwell said.

The burial council is scheduled to hear a presentation by the city and discuss the object at its Oct. 9 meeting before making a recommendation to the state.

The discovery of an artifact of historical value could hold up a $1.43 million development at the Oahu park, commonly known as Sherwood Forest. The planned construction of a multipurpose field, parking lot and playground has sparked demonstrations and a lawsuit to block the development.

Caldwell met with a city archaeologist and a University of Hawaii expert who he said determined the object is "a piece of basalt of a lava dike that was chipped from somewhere else and probably brought there."

They have not determined whether it is significant enough to end the park project, Caldwell said.

"Finding an artifact doesn't mean you cannot proceed," he said, casting doubt on assumptions the object is manmade or an ancient tool.

"We'll wait to see what they have to say and move forward at that time," Caldwell said. "We're going to follow all the protocols and make sure that everything is done properly."

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. Founded in 1846, AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
More from Hawai‘i Public Radio