On October 19th, 20th, and 23rd, 2023, three archaeologists from the University of Oregon, U.S.A. came to Palau to do outreach and awareness on their project in Airai State. Dr. Scott Fitzpatrick, Dr. Greg Nelson, and Dr. Laura Weyrich gave a series of presentations at Airai Ked Community Center, and Civic Center Hall respectively.
The presentations explained the analysis of their findings from evidence of the human bones remains, and the artifacts collected at Chelechol ra Orrak in Airai State, on their excavation that began in 2002.
The bones were carbon dated and the oldest number was 3,000 BCE. It is believed that Chelechol ra Orrak is the oldest settlement found thus far in Micronesia and Remote Oceania.
This partnership began over 20 years ago that started with the former Director and now current Airai State Delegate Vicky N. Kanai in an effort to register highly significant sites in Palau. The Chelechol ra Orrak was one of those sites which led to a decade long study of early human settlement and subsistence.
The Bureau of Cultural and Historical Preservation Office of the Ministry of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism, and Development is very fortunate to have this valuable partnership with the University of Oregon, and would like to express its sincere appreciation for their donated time and resources.