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Well known archaeologist to lead Waihi Beach field trip

May 28


Well known archaeologist to lead Waihi Beach field trip

A well-known archaeologist will lead a walking tour of a highly significant New Zealand archaeological landscape.

Brigid Gallagher – senior archaeologist, conservator and presenter on the British TV series Time Team, as well as regular archaeology commentator on Radio New Zealand – will give people a new perspective on the archaeological features of Waihi Beach in a field trip organised by the NZ Historic Places Trust.

The two-hour field trip will take place on June 8th beginning at 2pm (participants meet in the reserve at the carpark beside the public toilets).

“There are a number of sites located near Anzac Bay at the southern end of Waihi Beach including urupa, pa, workshop and settlement sites – as well as middens, some of which have produced artefacts typical of New Zealand’s early sites, and date back to the earliest times of occupation in the area,” says the NZHPT’s Lower Northern Archaeologist, Rachel Darmody.

“The most prominent pa is Te Kura a Maia, which translates as ‘a training ground for young warriors’ referring to the many battles fought on this site. Many of the pa’s features including terraces and large defensive ditch are still visible.”

The Waihi Beach area features prominently in local history, and was visited by such waka as Tainui, Takitimu and Mataatua.

A resident of Waihi Beach, Brigid is very familiar with the archaeology of the area. She is also well qualified to talk on archaeological evidence relating to early Maori activity. In addition to her academic background in archaeology, during the course of her career she also documented the New Zealand archaeological collections at the Auckland Museum, and has studied and practiced both stone tool technology and the conservation of objects from New Zealand sites.

“Brigid will share a lot of her knowledge and insights into the archaeological history of Waihi Beach, and this really will be a great opportunity for people to learn more about the history of this important place – including the more recent 20th Century occupation of the area. I’m sure people will see Waihi Beach in a whole new light after the field trip,” says Rachel.

“We’ll also be providing people with information about the NZ Historic Places Trust’s statutory role with archaeology under the Historic Places Act, and be available to answer any questions.”

The archaeological tour of Waihi Beach on June 8th begins at 2pm and finishes at about 4pm. Participation is free, though places are limited and booking is recommended. To book – or for more information – contact the NZHPT’s Tauranga office on Ph 07-577-4530, or email jhetherington@historic.org.nz. (Please leave a contact number in case of cancellation due to weather).


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