Big Island of Hawaii Ancient Sites

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Ahuena Heiau
Built by King Kamehameha I between 1812 and 1813 to honor Lono, the god of fertility, the Ahu'ena Heiau served as the king's personal refuge and was his home for the last years of his life. Many ritual prayers took place here.
Coconut Island
In the old Hawaii this island was known for its curative spring waters. Also, it was believed that if a sick person swam around one of the rocks at the eastern inlet of the island he or she would get healed from the illness.
Hapaialii and Keeku Heiau
Archaeologists discovered that Hapaiali'i Heiau served as a solar calendar. One can accurately mark the passing of the seasons when standing behind the center stone on the heiau's top platform and aligning it with the main platform.

Hikiau Heiau
This heiau is an ancient Hawaiian temple site that was built by King Kalani'opu'u. It is a luakini heiau, a temple site where human sacrifices were made. Captain Cook visited Hikiau Heiau in 1778-1779.
These ancient Hawaiian fishponds are producing fish up until today. In the old Hawaii, most fishponds were managed by the ali'i (chiefs), and most of the fish were consumed by them.
Kue'manu Heiau
Ku'emanu Heiau is believed to have been devoted to surfing. It was used to pray for good surfing conditions and to observe surfers offshore. The heiau stands opposite of an excellent surfing break, which is popular up until today.
Mookini Heiau
This is one of the oldest and most significant heiaus in Hawaii. A dramatic (and somewhat gruesome) history surrounds the heiau, which was built around AD 480. It still bears the large, flat stone where human sacrifices were made.
Naha Stone
It is believed that this 7,000 pound rock was brought here from the island of Kauai via canoe. The stone fulfilled an important role in the past. Legend said that whoever was able to move it would be the first king of all the Hawaiian islands.
Puako Petroglyphs
The Puako Petrglyph Archaeological Preserve features more than 3,000 ancient Hawaiian rock carvings. The carvings show figures of humans, paddlers, marchers, as well as turtles, dogs, chickens and deity symbols.
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau
The Big Island has no shortage of historical wonders, but few can match the significance of the Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. The park consists of the royal grounds and the pu'uhonua (place of refuge).
Pu'ukohola Heiau
The heiau is where King Kamehameha the Great brought down his last opponent, Keoua, and united the Hawaiian Islands under his reign. By 1790, the king had conquered the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai.
Twin Rocks at Onomea Bay
The twin rocks are located in the offshore waters at Onomea Bay, about 6 miles (10 km) north of Hilo. They can best be seen from a viewing area inside Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.