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Reeve, Rowland

Pacifc Legacy, Inc., Hi, USA
Archeology: Western Province

Current affiliation, academic qualifications and contact details
Rowland B. Reeve
900 Kumukoa Street
Hilo, Hawaii 96720, USA

I am currently employed as a Consulting Archaeologist for the cultural
resources management firm of Pacific Legacy, Inc., which does work in the
Western United States, the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific.  My region of
focus at the present moment is the Island of Hawai`i.  My academic
qualifications include a Masters Degree in Archaeology from the Institute of
Archaeology, University of London (I have attached a current CV to a
separate email).


Research record and future proposals

My first period of research in the Western Solomons was conducted in the spring of 1986. At that time I was serving as principle scientist and archaeologist on the Operation Raleigh Solomon Islands expedition. At the suggestion of Hon. Job D. Tausinga, who was then Premier of the Western Province, the expedition concentrated its archaeological research in the Kusage cultural area of northern of New Georgia island.  Prior to the cessation of head hunting in 1914, the Kusage people had avoided the coastal region where they presently make their home, and had dwelt in the forested interior.  Most of their settlements, shrines and storied places were concentrated within the extinct volcanic crater of Mase. The crater was (and still is) heavily forested.  The Mase River, which flows through the crater, provided an abundant source of fresh water.  While most of the early settlement areas within the crater are not marked by surface structural remains, and are thus difficult to identify, the traditional shrines and other sacred places are still well known to the Kusage pig
hunters who frequent the crater.  With their help, members of the expedition were able to relocate and map a number of these shrines and storied places. Expedition members also collected custom stories from the older Kusage, providing a cultural context for many of the archaeological sites recorded. A map of the Kusage homeland showing the locations of their sacred and storied places was given to the Kusage at the close of the expedition.

Following the end of the Operation Raleigh Solomon Islands expedition, I was
asked by officials of the Western Province Government to return to the
Solomons and establish a Provincial Archaeology Program within the Cultural
Affairs Department. One of my responsibilities as Provincial Archaeologist
was to teach a group of five trainees, taken from various parts of the Province, the theory and practice of archaeology. The archaeological field work undertaken as part of this training was conducted within the Mase Crater, continuing the mapping and site recording begun during the Solomon Islands Expedition. At the completion of my work in the Solomons, one of the trainees, Kenneth Roga, took my place as Provincial Archaeologist.

My primary mission during my second stay in the Western Solomons was the establishment of a Provincial Archaeology program.  During the course of my visit to the various islands within the Province, however, I was able to visit a number of archaeological sites and develop some observations as to the prehistory of the Western Solomons.  The results of these researches were written up during a period as Visiting Researcher at the Australian National University, and published as "Recent Work On The Prehistory of the Western Solomons" in the Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association (Vol. 9, 1989).  This publication is available below.

Although my field research in the Western Solomons was undertaken many years ago, I maintain a keen interest in the archaeology of the Province and hope that my research may be of use to future generations of Solomon Islanders.  I strongly support the Bergin Initiative and am willing to assist it and the Province in any way that I can. I would like to assist in having my publications on the Western Solomons become available as PDF files for the proposed research repository. Only a small amount of my Solomons research was published in scholarly journals. The write up of the first phase of my work in the Kusage region of New Georgia was included in the reports of the Operation Raleigh expedition to the Solomon Islands.  I will attempt to provide a PDF of this report.


Key publications/reports/materials
Reeve, Rowland 1990. “The Early History of the Western Province: Results of Recent
Investigations”. 'O'O, A Journal of Solomon Island Studies, 1990.

Reeve, Rowland 1989. “Recent Work On The Prehistory of the Western Solomons.”  Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, Volume 9.

Reeve, Rowland 1987. “Report of the Operation Raleigh Solomon Islands Expedition”. Archaeology, 1987.


Reewe (1989) Prehistory of W.-Solomons (article).pdf

Western Solomons
Updated 12 January, 2011