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Australian archaeologist in Tonga for research

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 14/11/2018

An archaeologist from Brisbane Australia, is currently conducting research in Tonga, on some of the myths and legends of Tonga in relation to historical sites.

James “Jim” Wakefield’s research is focused on establishing a connection between the Trilithon – Ha’amonga ‘a Maui, and the Tsunami Rock at Kala’u – Maka Tolo ‘a Maui. Wakefield believes he has found evidence proving that these two sites are connected, not just in stories passed down from our ancestors, but there are also signs in the areas around the sites that are similar.

Wakefield is an archaeologist who had visited Tonga in the 1960’s where he was first interested in the Tongan historical sites and their stories. He returned in 2005 and carried out a research resulting in the publication of “The Secrets of Tonga”.

Earlier this year, Wakefield was back in Tonga to begin his research on the Ha’amonga and the Tsunami Rock, and he expects to return next March to capture more data during the equinox.

I’ve always been interested in archaeology, and of course, I went and had a look at the tombs at Mu’a, then been out to the Ha’amonga. Then while I was walking around the Ha’amonga, I noticed there was a couple of interesting things with it. The lintel on top is leaning slightly and I wondered, if in the afternoon, if the sun would shine through it, because it was at the time of the equinox. And that started me off. I’ve been coming back for several years, and years actually, to actually watch the whole sequence of events and I didn’t realize how long it went for at the start, the whole thing lasted about 2 hours. Because sometimes it was cloudy, the sun didn’t shine, I couldn’t get any pictures. So, I’ve been coming back just about every year since 2005. One the other side of the island, is the tsunami rock, or as an old man near the Ha’amonga called it, Maui’s Rock. I’m working on that, I’m wondering exactly is it a tsunami, or has someone put it there. I found some smaller rocks close by which a local tells me were put there deliberately, so I’ve just started on that research now. These stories need to be recorded, and collated, because they’re the history of Tonga. Tonga has got a, the more I go into it, it’s got such a complicated, long, and interesting history.

Upon the conclusion of his research Wakefield hopes to put out another publication for not only Tongans, but for others interested to appreciate.

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