The petroglyphs were found near two archaeological sites -- a village and a chiefly pigeon-snaring mound -- both of which have been dated to the same period as the Hawaiian petroglyphs.
Because this rock art was located in an inter-tidal zone, the patina or lichens usually used to directly date petroglyphs was absent.
We do know from the testimony and map of the Tahitian navigator Tupaia that there was regular contact between the central and even western Pacific with the eastern Pacific at least in the region of French Polynesia. Since recent discoveries of stone tools also suggest contact between the former area and Hawai'i, the possibility of transmission between the two areas is not that remote.
Paul Kekai Manansala
Tonga petroglyphs hint at Isle link
Carvings uncovered by erosion are similar to those found in Hawaii
Beach erosion on a remote island in Tonga has revealed a trove of petroglyphs that archaeologists say are similar to those found in Hawai'i, hinting at the possibility of early travel between the two archipelagos.
More than 50 petroglyphs were found late last year on several slabs of beach rock at the northern end of Foa Island, in Ha'apai. The rocks apparently were buried for centuries under several feet of sand until heavy seas exposed them.
Photos by Chas and Shane Egan