Burial found on Punchbowl along planned rail transit route

Published  5:22 PM HST Jan 13, 2013
Burial uncovering
HONOLULU -

More bones have been found as construction on Honolulu's rail transit project continues. On Sunday archaeologists unearthed a burial site along the planned route.

The Oahu Burial Council says this is the first burial discovered on Punchbowl Street.

"They discovered remains of an infant, a keki, around 0 to 3 months old," said Paulette Kaleikini with Oahu Burial Council.

The city says this area is part of the additional 18 trenches that the State Historic Preservation Office asked the city to unearth in the urban area as part of the archeological survey area for the rail project. The city completed 232 trenches in December.

"They located sand I think about 2 feet down, and just going through and shifting through the sand they found the human remains," said Kaleikini

The work on these additional trenches started a week ago and according to the city, Sunday was supposed to be the last day of the extra project. The council said the extra dig was to look for more sand areas.

"The sand area was the preferred area for burial," said Kaleikini

The council prefers to keep the iwi in place as they did with burial finds in Chinatown.

"For native Hawaiians as well as all indigenous people the iwi is where the spiritual surrounded by spiritual essence and that's where it belongs," said Kaleikini.

The ohana of the burial council did a blessing to ask for forgiveness of disturbance on Sunday. The state historic preservation office will determine if the iwi will be relocated or kept in place.

Preservation office staff will most likely go out to the site on Monday to take a further look.

The city says construction in that portion of the route is not slated to begin until 2014, so they have ample time to make any adjustments needed.

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