Archaeological Testing
at the
Bonham Property
Ha'ena, Halele'a, Kaua'i

by Hallett H. Hammatt and William H. Folk
Cultural Surveys Hawai'i for Wong, Sueda and Associates
August 1983

Archaeological investigation on the Bonham property, Ha'ena, Halele'a, Kaua'i, consisted of test trenching and coring. The purpose of the study was to determine the presence or absence of buried cultural layers. The study area is located adjacent to the east bank of Limahuli Stream at the coast. The property consists of a high, steep sand dune underlain by a beach berm. This dune extends to the east beyond the limits of the subject property. The entire area has been in use through much of the first half of the Twentieth Century and the top and inland side of the dune have been subject to considerable modern modification by landscaping with a bulldozer.

The excavations and corings were concentrated along the present crest and back of the dune within the bounds of a proposed residence.

The bulk of the deposits are Aeolian in origin and modern in age and overlie two discontinuous older surfaces of the dune. The uppermost buried ground surface (Stratum III) correlates stratigraphically to the Stratum III located in excavations conducted in 1979 to the east of the present study area.

It is estimated to be early-to-middle Nineteenth Century in age. The only artifactual materials recovered are a single flake of basaltic glass and very sparse midden. The underlying buried ground surface (Stratum V) may correspond to the cultural layer V located in the east section of the dune in the 1979 excavations. However, its highly organic and gleyed characteristics indicate a derivation from lo'i or 'auwai that formerly extended into the present dune area. In spite of the apparent similarities in age and relative position of the buried ground surfaces in the present study area to the cultural layers located in the 1979 excavations, there are differences in cultural content.

The absence of archaeological features and the conspicuous scarcity of artifactual and midden material in the study area indicate that this part of the dune was not used for habitation. The two dark colored strata, III and V, can be more appropriately described as buried land surfaces rather than cultural horizons. It is our opinion that further excavation and research in the study area would not be justified.