In the Commonwealth, there are remnants from five different occupational periods, namely the Prehistoric period with radio carbon dates indicating occupation of these Islands beginning approximately three thousand years B.P. (before present) to the time of the first Spanish contact (1521); Spanish occupational period (1668-1899); German occupational period (1899-1914); Japanese occupational period (1914-1944); and finally the U.S. occupation from 1944 to present.
Each period of the Commonwealth’s history and prehistory is represented by remnants of buildings, structures, fortifications, or subsistence remains, etc., each having their own story to tell. The architecture involved in many of these structures is quite distinct and related to the culture and occupation group at that time. Preservation activities allow our citizens to witness these masterfully distinct, artistic, and engineered works of art.
Modern archaeological investigations conducted in the CNMI provide many of the invaluable information pertaining to the islands’ archaeological resources, prehistoric activities, and unique history.
Archaeologists have determined, based on analysis of artifacts, that there were two distinct periods of Marianas Prehistory, the pre-latte period (1527 ± 200 years B.C.) and the Latte period (854 ± 145 years A.D.), the latter being associated with the construction of the Latte Stone structures.


Department of Community & Cultural Affairs – Historic Presercation Office
PO Box 10007 Saipan, MP 96950
Tel. (670) 664-2120/21/22 Fax. (670) 664-2139
Email. [email protected]