Rare petroglyphs uncovered by freak weather in Hawaii
In a discovery that echoes the recent uncovering of ancient human footprints following a spate of freak weather in Britain, archaeologists have announced the rediscovery of a set of rare petroglyphs which were uncovered following epic winter swells just off Oahu, Hawaii.
The unusually strong seasonal surf, which churned up monster waves more than 7 metres high, has washed away layers of sand all along Pupukea Beach, just east of the big-surf mecca of Waimea, to reveal dozens of large glyphs carved into the bench of lava rock.
More than 70 rock carvings have been exposed, mostly depicting human-like figures and dogs, which haven’t been seen since 2010, and before that 2004, providing a rare chance for historians, scientists, and rock-art enthusiasts to catch a glimpse of this incredible record of Hawaii’s ancient past.
The Historic Hawaii Foundation is currently working to document the images. Because they are so rarely seen, the petroglyphs have not yet been the subject of a very thorough study. It is believed that the petroglyphs, known locally as kii pohaku, were used to document travels around and among the islands, to commemorate important events, and to mark trails and boundaries.
At Pu’u Loa, a vast area of more than 23,000 petroglyphs on Hawaii’s Big Island, many of the motifs are notable for featuring holes in which Native Hawaiians deposited the umbilical cords of newborn babies.
In addition to those newly exposed on the North Shore, canines appear often at the Nu’uanu rock art site near Honolulu, where they have been said to depict a wicked, cannibalistic dog-like beast known as Kaupe.
Featured image: One of the uncovered petroglyphs. Photo credit: Historic Hawaii Foundation