May 14, 2013 - "Whose Footprints Are These Really?"
Archeological research at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park suggests that the story behind the creation of fossilized human footprints in the Ka'u Desert may be more complex than originally thought. Footprint impressions found in desert ash layers were believed to have been created by the army of the Hawaiian Chief Keoua in 1790 on their way back from battle over land and power with Chief (later King) Kamehameha. With his army split into three groups, Keoua passed by Kīlauea Volcano. While in the area, Kīlauea is said to have erupted, sending ash down on one group, and suffocating them. The others made it out alive, apparently leaving their footprints in the then-wet ash. The ash dried, forever memorializing this event…or did it? Join Dr. Jadelyn J. Moniz-Nakamura as she examines geologic evidence, coupled with the recent discovery of hundreds of archaeological features that may indicate much more prehistoric activity in the area suggesting others contributed to the footprint impressions.
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