Kosrae Archeological Survey and Training Project


Kosrae (FSM) Historic Preservation Office is hosting an archaeological training project in excavation and site interpretation.  Dr. Felicia Beardsley, University of La Verne, is the principal investigator for the project, which is being conducted at the site of Finol Tokosra, Upper Tofol.  The site was located two years ago during a training project in archaeological reconnaissance, survey and mapping strategies.


This year project work has made some highly significant contributions to the archaeological record of Kosrae and Micronesia.  First and foremost, several pieces of sculpture and stone carvings have been recorded and recovered at the site.  Statuary in particular is unheard of in Micronesia, yet it appears at this site and at least one other (also identified by Beardsley) on the island.  This second statue site has been used as part of a short training exercise on mapping this field season.


Secondly, archaeological excavations at Finol Tokosra are recovering a large number of stone carving tools and debris.  The entire site appears to be a stone carving/sculpting workshop.  Among some of the findings are a massive boulder that was in the process of being reduced to more manageable blocks of stone and two carved heads that overlook paved spring outlets.  At least one of the carved heads has been identified as a manta ray, which is an ancient clan symbol.


Finally, the archaeological record at Finol Tokosra appears to contain several features that match an oral history account of a settlement's revenge upon a tyrant king.  The archaeological project has thus far uncovered a pit complete with carved exotic stones at the base, along with a stone war club (carved to resemble a fish).  According to the oral history, the villagers dug a large hole into which the king and his men were thrown, and then killed and buried.


Participants in the training include the archaeological staff of the Kosrae HPO, as well as two of their student trainees, and six local men.  The project will be completed by August 31, 2006.