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Latte Stone Monument

“A tribute to the island’s ancient indigenous ancestors”

N15 ̊12’30.654” E145 ̊43’3.076

This latte shaft (halige) and capstone (tasa) at the southwest corner of the DFS building are from an archaeological site on the eastern side of Saipan. Latte stones served as foundations for traditional Chamorro houses at the time Europeans first arrived in the islands. This latte shaft and capstone were placed here to mark the reburial site of more than 60 ancient Chamorros whose remains were recovered during archaeological work undertaken before the DFS building was constructed. For more than 3,000 years, the Garapan area served as a residential area for the indigenous Chamorro people. Following the Spanish military conquest of Saipan in 1695, a mission village, complete with a Catholic Church, was established in the area now occupied by the Hafadai Beach Hotel immediately west of the Latte Stone Monument. By 1750 all of Saipan’s Chamorro population was forcibly resettled to Guam by Spanish authorities thus leaving the island with no permanent residents. Although construction activities over the past century have destroyed all surface traces of these ancient villages, important archaeological resources remain buried throughout the Garapan area. Please treat this site with respect to honor the spirits of the ancient ones who resided in this area for many thousands of years.