Cultural Surveys Hawaii


Established 1982



  Return to Kaho‘olawe Projects  


Cultural Surveys Hawai‘i (CSH), on contract with Parsons-UXB Joint Venture, performed the archaeological assessment, survey, site protection, data recovery and documentation of all historic properties for the U.S. Navy's Kaho‘olawe Island Ordnance Clearance Project. CSH also helped to develop and implement a pioneering effort to study the effects of ordnance detonation on archaeological sites.


Over many centuries, the Hawaiian people established Kaho‘olawe Island as a focus of settlement, fishing, and teaching. In the 19th and early-20th centuries, the island was used for sheep and cattle ranching. After 1941, Kaho‘olawe was used by the U.S. military as a target and training area.

The entire island was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Since 1998, Kaho‘olawe has been the scene of the largest ordnance clearance project in the world and the largest single archaeological effort in Hawai‘i.


The contributions of CSH to the project include:

  A thorough archaeological survey of the entire 45-square mile island.  
  Location and documentation of nearly 1,500 individual historic properties.  
  Protection of these 1,500 properties during all phases of the clearance project.  
  Integration of all historic property information into a database which makes text, photos, maps and GIS data instantly available for permanent reference.  
    The investigative and technological innovations generated by the Kaho‘olawe Island project will provide an extraordinary model for many years to come and we are honored to have participated in this landmark project. CSH will continue to incorporate the skills acquired and lessons learned on Kaho‘olawe into all our future projects.