The Archaeology of a WWII Invasion Beach on Saipan and its Historic Context in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands by Boyd Dixon, Brenda Tenorio, Cherie Walth and Kathy Mowrer with contributions by Isla Nelson and Robert Jones. Paperback; 203x276mm; x+128 pages; 88 figures, 10 tables (50 colour pages). 92 2019. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789692587. Epublication ISBN 9781789692594. |
After 75 years, this story presents archaeological evidence, archival records, and respected elders’ accounts from WWII and the most catastrophic period in Pacific Basin history, and then into modern times on Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. On June 15, 1944, Afetna Point was called ‘Yellow Beach 2’ by the U.S. Marines and Army infantry braving Japanese resistance to establish a beachhead before capturing As Lito airfield the following days. The beachhead then served as a resupply landing for the next two weeks or more as U.S. forces slowly cleared the island of enemy strongpoints, and removed wounded Americans and battle weary civilians to off-shore medical treatment. At the end of the battle Chamorro, Carolinian, Okinawan, and Korean residents were relocated into stockades for their separation from Japanese soldiers until liberation on July 4, 1946. American military and eventual civilian administration of the San Antonio area transformed the agrarian landscape into a busy corridor of residential, industrial, and then tourist development. Once again in the 21st century, competition for regional tourism and investment makes Saipan a nexus of geopolitical intrigue and economic speculation where the past is not forgotten.
About the Authors
Boyd Dixon is Senior Archaeologist for the Cardno GS office in Guam and the CNMI. With over 40 years of archaeological experience in North America, Latin America, Western Europe, and the Pacific Basin, his interests are equally varied. They embrace prehistoric and historic patterns of settlement, subsistence, interaction, power, and conflict. Boyd holds a BA from the University of Alabama, with MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. He has also been a research associate in the Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam.
Brenda Y. Tenorio has played a role in shaping US/CNMI relations, has worked with, represented and advised leadership in the CNMI executive and legislative branches of government in negotiations with the U.S. and in the process developed public policy on a variety of issues locally. Over the years, Ms. Tenorio has also provided research/consulting services for proposed multi-million dollar private development projects and a number of firms in the gaming, construction and energy fields. As staff for CNMI Covenant negotiators, Ms. Tenorio worked on issues ranging from the labor and immigration to bonds and financial assistance packages to the CNMI. As a CNMI Covenant negotiator Ms. Tenorio addressed CNMI concerns over citizenship by birth and ownership of submerged land. Ms. Tenorio has a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Philosophy from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Cherie Walth is a Project Manager, Principal Investigator, and Bioarchaeologist for SWCA Environmental Consultant’s Albuquerque Office. Cherie has worked in such diverse regions as the Rocky Mountains, the U.S. Southwest, the Pacific West, Micronesia, and North Africa. Her experience is in all levels of prehistoric and historic archaeological investigations and includes human and non-human osteological analysis (bioarchaeology). In her 30+ years of experience in cultural resource management, the analysis of human remains has remained her passion. Cherie has an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado and her thesis reported on human remains from her fieldwork in Tunisia, North Africa.
Kathy Mowrer is an Archaeologist and Bioarchaeologist for SWCA Environmental Consultant’s Albuquerque Office. Kathy has 20 years of archaeological experience in the U. S. Southwest, Pacific Coast, Plains, and CNMI, Saipan. She has been the consulting osteologist for Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado for 13 years. Kathy’s experience includes prehistoric and historic data recovery, survey, and research. Kathy holds a B.A .from Fort Lewis College with a major in Anthropology and minor in Religious Studies and an M.A. Archaeology from Northern Arizona University. Her thesis examined eastern and western Basketmaker II mortuary practices for social differentiation and regional variation.
'In sum, the publication of this project as companion volumes in the Access Archaeology series of Archaeopress Publishing (Oxford) is laudable. The overwhelming majority of archaeological research projects are undertaken in the region within the context of economic development stemming from tourism. Because such research is often unavailable from published and accessible venues, important fieldwork goes unnoticed except by those who are employed in the profit-driven CRM industry. The authors of these two volumes should be commended for the time and energy they committed to the production of these monographs.'—James M. Bayman, Asian Perspectives, Volume 59, No. 2, 2020
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