Micronesian Archaeoastronomy Expedition
In May 2017, a team of eleven explorers landed on remote Pohnpei and Kosrae to study the ancient ruins of Lelu (Kosrae) and Nan Madol (Pohnpei) within the context of ethnoastronomy. Significant astronomical alignments in both sites were recorded and new information regarding two related petroglyph sites in Pohnpei, came to light. Of particular interest was a petroglyph that seemingly represented a lunar eclipse next to what may have been an ancient observatory overlooking Nan Madol. This was an Explorers Club Flag expedition (#71). To download the Expedition Report, written by team member and current Project Director, Alexandra Edwards, click the button below.
Archaeoastronomy of Ra'ivavae Expedition
Archaeologist Edmundo Edwards is the foremost archaeologist working on Ra'ivavae today, and together with his daughter team member and Project Director, Alexandra Edwards they have carried out four month-long archaeological expeditions to this lovely high island with a fringing coral reef. The goal of the 2015 expedition was to locate, assess, and corroborate the astronomical function and ethnographic importance of sacred sites on Raivavae—and then to study the correlations that may have existed between Ra'ivavaen archaeoastronomy and that of a few sacred sites on Huahine and Ra'iatea. This was accomplished with extraordinary success thanks to the help of the seven volunteers who joined the Edwards in this adventurous expedition to French Polynesia. This was an Explorers Club Flag expedition (#83). Click the button below to learn more and download the Expedition Report, written by team member and current Project Director, Alexandra Edwards.
Marquesan Rock Art Expedition
The goal of this expedition was to study select rock art and tiki sites on Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands. A fire had destroyed the photos of petroglyphs previously registered by the Museumof Tahiti, and there were also tiki figures that had been located, but not properly recorded, so this expedition was set to document those and other local sites. The report contains a brief history of the Marquesas, a timeline of past archaeological work, and a very complete entry on the rock art of these two islands, with an interpretation of the most common designs. Lastly there is a history section about the adventures of US Navy Captain David Porter in Nuku Hiva in 1812. This was an Explorers Club Flag expedition (Flag #83). Click the yellow button to download the Expedition Report, written by team member and current Project Director, Alexandra Edwards.
Archaeoastronomy of Rapa Nui Expedition
In all of Polynesia, the annual cycle of activities was associated to a local subsistence system based on seasonal resources and a horticultural cycle determined by wet and dry periods. All of these marked by the movement of the stars. On Rapa Nui these were observed in stone towers called tupa. In 2010, we teamed up with Spanish astronomer José Antonio Belmonte to research the Rapanui astronomy concepts and find out more about these ancient structures. This was an Explorers Club Flag expedition (Flag #83 -- yes we keep asking for the same one). Click the button below to download the Expedition Report, written by Edmundo Edwards and current team member and Project Director Alexandra Edwards.