Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Archaeology talk 20 years in the making

April 9 2013

Archaeology talk 20 years in the making

Development pressure along the Papamoa coastline in the 1990s brought the area’s archaeological features into sharp focus – an irony not wasted on Hamilton archaeologist, Warren Gumbley.

Now – almost two decades after the first subdivision work took place at Papamoa – Warren can look back on almost 20 years of involvement as an archaeologist working in the area, uncovering increasing amounts of the archaeological puzzle of Papamoa.

“Before the 1990s, it was generally believed that the Papamoa dune plain was a bit of a waste-land with very few archaeological features,” Warren recalls.

“As subdivision increased and more archaeological features were revealed, however, it became very clear that this archaeology was important for our understanding of the colonisation of New Zealand by Maori.”

Warren will talk about the unique archaeology of Papamoa – an area settled only a few generations after the first Polynesians arrived in New Zealand – at a public meeting organised by the NZ Historic Places Trust at the Papamoa Library on April 17 at 7pm. Admission is free and everybody is welcome.

“One of the most pressing issues facing the original settlers was the need to find soils and climates suitable for growing crops – particularly kumara and taro,” he says.

“They found what they needed at Papamoa.”

A charcoal-rich soil layer throughout the plain area is evidence that the settlers used fire to clear the forest and prepare the land for settlement and gardening. Over time, they moved back and forward over the area from the dunes to the hill pa depending on the time of year, and what they had to do.

“The nature of each small settlement on the Papamoa dune area appears to have been temporary, suggesting they were only occupied for between one and five years with varying intensity from season to season before being abandoned for a period,” he says.

“It’s likely that this down-time allowed the gardening soils to recover their nutrients.”

According to the archaeological record, the settlers’ diet was quite varied – fish such as mackerel, kahawai and barracouta – and other foods like cultivated vegetables, shell fish and wild plants.

A wide range of storage pits discovered over the years reflect the importance of being able to store food for survival, while numerous earth oven sites and other fire places show how food was prepared and cooked.

The rich archaeological pickings form middens – prehistoric rubbish dumps – will feature in Warren’s presentation, with historic refuse yielding all sorts of important artefacts and evidence, including stone sinkers for nets and fish lines highlighting the importance of fishing in the local economy.

A small adze made from argillite originating from the Nelson-Marlborough area also provides tantalising evidence that trade took place with other tribes from around the country.

“The archaeological features of Papamoa have much to teach us about the early history of settlement in this country. What happened here may well serve as a model for the development of the Maori economy away from its Pacific Islands home,” says Warran.

“We’ll be looking at these and many other fascinating aspects of life in Papamoa at the talk.”

The public talk will take place at the Papamoa Library’s Tohora Room, 15 Gravatt Road, Papamoa on April 17 at 7pm. Admission free, though bookings are recommended – contact the NZHPT’s Tauranga office on Ph 07-577-4530 or email jhetherington@historic.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Christchurch: Fixing Town Hall Means Performing Arts Precinct Rethink

Christchurch City Council’s decision to spend $127.5 million fixing the Town Hall means not all the land currently designated for the city’s Performing Arts Precinct is required, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news