Pohnpei Archaeological Survey


A team of historic preservation specialists from Australia's Charles Sturt University has carried out an archaeological survey of the former Japanese agricultural research station at Pwunso completed by the end of July 2006.


The aim of the survey that was conducted by Professor Dirk Spennemann and Gaye Sutherland was to identify remains of Japanese and Trust Territory buildings and structures. The project, which is funded by the FSM National Government under the direction of Dr. Rufino Mauricio, and coordinated by the Pohnpei State Historic Preservation Office, provides information critical to the development of a comprehensive management plan for the botanic gardens.


"The former agricultural research station at Pwunso is of historic and cultural significance to Pohnpei and indeed to all of Micronesia," Professor Spennemann said. "The collection of trees and plants is unique and provides and excellent basis for the development of educational and interpretive facilities for the benefit of all Pohnpeians."


The center point of the historic area is the three-story Japanese concrete building erected in 1926 as a weather station and agricultural research offices. The Art Deco building was the tallest civilian structure ever built by the Japanese Mandate Administration. With its setting in the botanical collections, the building forms a prime attraction to visitors. Plans are under way to halt the decay of the concrete and to rehabilitate the building for use. The formal report is expected to be completed by the end of the financial year and its detailed findings will be made available to the public.


According to Youser Anson, Historic Preservation Officer, "this survey is a direct continuation of Pohnpei States historic preservation efforts and follows on from the Cultural landscape and concrete preservation training carried out in January this year by the US National Park Service and the National Center for Preservation Technology."