Ancient petroglyphs discovered on Hawaii shoreline

Published: Aug. 8, 2016 at 8:21 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 9, 2016 at 1:47 PM HST
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WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A pair of visitors to Hawaii from Ft. Worth, Texas made an incredible discovery while strolling along Oahu's Leeward coast. They found several Hawaiian petroglyphs, believed to be more than 400 years old.

Lonnie Watson and Mark Louviere found at least ten figures in the sand late in July, stretching over nearly 60 percent of the Waianae beach.

It's very likely that this is not the first time these particular petroglyphs have been exposed, but the DLNR State Historic Preservation Division says this is the first they've learned of them. They're working with the U.S. Army to record and document the findings.

After the initial discovery, a total of 17 were identified in the sand. One petroglyph measured roughly five feet from head to toe.

"What's interesting is the Army in Hawaii manages several thousand archaeological sites, but this is the first one with petroglyphs directly on the shoreline," said Army archaeologist Alton Exzabe.

The sand has washed up over the petroglyphs once again, but the Army and DLNR will continue to work to preserve them.

"They are an important part of Hawaii's culture," said Dr. Alan Downer, the administrator for DLNR's State Historic Preservation Division. "In time they will reappear and we want to make sure people know that they are fragile and culturally sensitive and should only be viewed; not touched."

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