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Nov 23, 2017 international
Lost Battlefield of Etoa, Papua New Guinea

Project overview

  • Conservation Management Plan for the public domain
  • Undertaken in 2011-2015
  • Approximately $50K

Client

  • PNG Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC now Conservation and Environment Authority)

From 2011 to 2015 Extent Heritage undertook archaeological recording and survey at a site along the iconic Kokoda Trail, above Eora Creek, on the land of the people of Alola. This land had once been part of a battlefield from the Kokoda Campaign in October 1942. During the site survey we recorded over 300 features which included weapons pits, discarded ammunition and artefacts from the battle. As part of the project we also recorded oral history accounts of the Alolan’s WWII experiences and accounts of the local significant places and stories associated with the landscape.

Significance

The battlefield site is a highly significant site involving Australian and Japanese soldiers, and the local Alolan people. The site is significant as part of the traditional hunting grounds of families of Alola. The site is also important for their historical associations with one of the significant battles during the Kokoda Track campaign. contains an important and rare archaeological resource which through study, survey and excavation of the fighting pits and transport routes, can demonstrate aspects of this important battle which include the course of the battle, dispositions of troops and physical state of the both Australian and Japanese forces, support services such as medical, supply and transport.

The Project

AHMS (now Extent Heritage) was engaged to initially provide advice on the potential for human remains on the site. After the first survey it was apparent that the site was a significant archaeological site with cultural association for the local people.

The DEC commissioned us to complete a comprehensive Conservation management plan to guide future conservation of the site and to provide a potential model for other CMPs for sites along the Kokoda Trail.

Download the Project Sheet here