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By testing charcoal bits left in these pits, Weisler has been able to identify the native tree species that used to grow in the area, as well as from pollen particles left in the soil.With the deductive reasoning of a crime investigator, the thoroughness of a historian and the environmental familiarity of a biologist, Weisler told the story behind each rock, shell and land formation.“There’s no one to ask that was around back then – so this is our best guess. “We’re trying to find out what people were doing and how and when they were doing it.”Rocks with Purpose One of the activities Weisler focuses on studying is the making of adze, or ancient stone tools used for wood carving.Weisler said using this knowledge, he was able to show that adzes found in Toamoto in the South Pacific were from Kaho`olawe more than 2,000 miles away.“I had chicken skin for two days when I figured out that’s where it was from,” said Weisler, adding he first checked and rechecked his data before believing this discovery.He’s found similar trading between Molokai communities, and adzes from Molokai found on other Hawaiians islands.On the windy, rocky coastline of northwestern Molokai, Dr. But it wasn’t just any rock; this stone, like many in the Molokai Land Trust’s Mokio Preserve, has a story.Weisler is an archeologist and professor at Australia’s University of Queensland.
To the untrained eye, the rock Weisler held in his hand looks like any other scattered in this arid landscape.“You could learn the basics of making a poi pounder in a morning…but it took years to learn to make adzes.”The process begins with finding the right rock.“Adze rock is different from imu rocks,” he explained.These remains along the coastline of Kaluakoi represent what would have been temporary habitation for several days at a time, he said.Along the stone wall is another loosely-arranged grouping of rocks — an oven.