Building monuments to these gods in these agricultural areas likely sent a clear message from King Pi’ilani and his successors to the people of Maui, Kirch said.
“We conclude that rapid temple construction was part of the overall political strategy used by these rulers to consolidate power, control agricultural production, and extract surplus,” he said.
1)—attendant tectonic events along the margins of its neighbouring plates should be expected.
According to Norton, however, evidence for circum-Pacific tectonic events at the time of the bend formation is lacking, and hence the bend must rather reflect the motion of a non-stationary hotspot.
“We do not know the exact ideology behind this, but there are hints in Hawaiian traditions that the corals may have represented the god Kane — the god of flowing waters, irrigation, and the taro plant — or possibly the god Lono, the god of dryland farming and the sweet potato.” While their precise purpose remains unclear, the corals are nonetheless useful, because they can be scientifically dated.
“In the past we have had to use radiocarbon dating, which has much wider error ranges and calibration issues. that the Maui temples were constructed in a relatively short period of time, with a duration of about 150 years at maximum, between circa 1550 to 1700.
“With the uranium/thorium coral dating we are getting error ranges of about 2 to 10 years at two standard deviations. “This is the same time during which the Hawaiian oral traditions indicate that Maui island was consolidated into a single kingdom, under the reigns of King Pi’ilani and his successors Kiha-a-Pi’ilani and Kamalalawalu.” [Learn about a discovery from another pivotal period: “1,500-Year-Old Village, A Sign of ‘Revolution’ in the Southwest, Excavated in Colorado” What’s more, the team’s results suggest that a peak of temple construction occurred between about 15, when eight temples were built farther inland.
Signs of a temple-building boom would likely indicate a period of political consolidation, as ancient Hawaiian rulers often ramped up their religious authority in order to also wield economic and political authority.
Often, this involved building shrines and temples near farmlands and other areas of food production.