Pagat nod as endangered site was overdue - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Pagat nod as endangered site was overdue

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Guam State Historic Preservation Officer Linda Aguon is praising the inclusion of Pagat Village as one America's Most Endangered Places List by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The designation is a long time coming.

According to Aguon, previous studies conducted at Pagat also showed its historical value.  "It was one of the ten best - at the time it was surveyed - one of the ten best archeological sites on Guam. It was inhabited prior to Christ coming to Earth prior to 2000 BC. It's got scattered latte sites. It's a huge complex. It encompasses rock shelters and caves. Latte sites, stone molders, boulders, rock walls and platforms," she said.

Dating back to 700 AD, Pagat also contains remains of prehistoric structural stone foundations, known as lattes, freshwater caves, medicinal plants, as well as stone mortars, pottery and tools of the Chamorro people. It is one of the island's last remaining and best preserved Chamorro settlements.  And according to Aguon, it was also a place where the Japanese hid during world war two. 

With the military buildup and the Department of Defense eying the Pagat area for a possible training range, Aguon, like the Trust, feels Pagat must be preserved.  "Military plans just don't end at a firing range. They need to expand in whatever new technology that comes out in weaponry. Once it's closed, people will be denied access. They'll say on special days the Chamorro and the residents on Guam can access the site. To me, that's absurd," she said.

Aguon adds that access to Pagat should be for everyone and should be preserved for future generations; she's hoping the military will think twice and look elsewhere for the marines training range.  "I'm hoping because it's a national program that it could bring the national media to focus on Guam," she said.

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