-- excerpt from article in San Franciso Chronicle by Jeanne Cooper
One Day, One Place: In search of ancient Kauai
On Kauai, history comes in as many layers as the lava that formed the island 5 million years ago. Modern efforts to peel back some of those layers have revealed a wealth of geological, biological and cultural treasures, creating a scenic South Shore itinerary that also highlights Kauai’s capacity for reinvention and renewal.
Sixteen-foot-tall carved figures of the four main Hawaiian gods face in each direction near Poipu Beach Park, a symbolic signpost to the 13-acre village and temple compound known as Ke Kahua O Kaneiolouma. Only four years ago, Native Hawaiian volunteers were still clearing thick brush from the 600-year-old rock walls, home sites and taro patches, hidden since the mid-1800s.
Today, new stone walls line the perimeter, protecting archaeological finds, such as one of the largest intact traditional sporting arenas, and nurturing native plant restoration. While visitors may not enter, an exterior path holds intriguing interpretive signs on Kauai history, Polynesian celestial navigation (the temple platform also holds a star map) and modern stewards of the complex.