No site in Oceania surpasses the dramatic beauty of ancient Nan Madol, perched on the very edge of the vast Pacific Ocean. Situated on the east coast of Pohnpei (also Ponape), the elite administrative and ceremonial center grew, flourished, and declined during the centuries, preceding Western contact. Here in a shallow lagoon the ancient Pohnpeians constructed a magnificent complex of ninety-two artificial islets interconnected by a network of waterways. today the islets are mostly covered by dense jungle growth, and the waterways are largely choked with mangrove swamps. Even in their present state, the megalithic ruins of Nan Madol are present-day reminders of the splendid achievements of prehistoric people in Micronesia.