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Kua'aina KahikoLife and Land in Ancient Kahikinui, Maui$
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Patrick Vinton Kirch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839550

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839550.001.0001

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The Archaeology of Hydrology

The Archaeology of Hydrology

(p.158) 12 The Archaeology of Hydrology
Kua'aina Kahiko

Patrick Vinton Kirch

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses Kahikinui’s changing hydrology. It considers the possibility that Kahikinui might not always have been as waterless as it appears today. In historic times, many small drainages such as Kukui Gulch with shallow channels incised into the lava slopes flow only when winter, kona storms bring heavy rains. Had environmental conditions in pre-contact times been sufficiently different so that these gulches once carried seasonal or even permanent flow? How had the ancient occupants of Kahikinui obtained water for drinking, cooking, and bathing? A study of the “paleohydrology,” or ancient water regimes, of Kahikinui showed that fog-drip precipitation had formerly supplied numerous seeps and springs along the small Kahikinui watercourses. The discovery of clusters of petroglyphs, which frequently occur on vertical rock faces in or adjacent to intermittent stream channels, or above rockshelters next to such channels, also suggests that these figures had once served to visually mark and claim specific water sources in Kahikinui.

Keywords:   paleohydrology, water supply, water sources, Kukui Gulch, Hawaii, Kahikinui, petroglyphs

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