Archaeology



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Marsh, Rebecca (2005): Digging up Dunedin: Research into the Attitudes and Knowledge of Dunedin Residents Towards New Zealand archaeology.
This research was designed to gauge the levels of knowledge and awareness of New Zealand archaeology among Dunedin residents, with a specific focus on the legislation and organizations involved. A questionnaire was created, and residents from six suburbs of Dunedin were invited to participate. A response rate of 32% was generated, with ages ranging from 18 to 91 years, and a mean age of 50 years. The gender division was marginally in favour of women, as 55% of participants were female and 45% were male. A wide range of occupations was listed, and the majority stating they were retired. The majority of participants hold some sort of tertiary education.

The responses show that overall Dunedin residents have enthusiasm for New Zealand archaeology. Most have a good general understanding of what archaeology involves, and what archaeologists do. Knowledge of organizations and legislation such as the Historic Places Trust, the Historic Places Act, and New Zealand Archaeological Association, and the Department of Conservation was encouraging in that most had heard of the Trust, HPA, and DoC. They also had accurate perceptions of how these organisations functioned. Knowledge of the NZAA was not as good, and perceptions of the function of this organization were generally inaccurate.



Participants were asked to comment on the values of the past. These responses were very positive, as the majority said that we can learn from the past and that it should be conserved and protected. Finally, respondents were asked to comment on financial matters relating to the cost of archaeological excavation. The majority said that a landowner or developer should not have to pay for the excavation of a site affected by their work. However, many qualified this by saying that developer should take responsibility for choosing an archaeologically valuable site, whereas a landowner should not have to pay because it was not their fault a valuable site existed on their property. Overall, Dunedin residents have a good perception of the basics of archaeology in New Zealand, although their knowledge of the legislation and organizations is not as strong. There is great support for the protection of sites, although most state that landowners and developers should not be responsible for meeting the costs of this.
McAlpine, Christen (2005): The Archaeology of Shore Whalers Houses in New Zealand.
This study examines the evidence for shore whalers’ houses in New Zealand. This is done through the analysis of historical descriptions and images, and the archaeological evidence of two New Zealand shore whaling sites, Oashore and Te Hoe. The data collected from these three sources resulted in an understanding of variations in the form and materials in which the shore whalers’ houses were constructed. The historical images also enabled a study of changes over time in some of these attributes. This information is then used to provide an interpretation of the housing structures that were present at Oashore and Te Hoe. Finally, a comparison between the New Zealand examples of shore whaling houses and those found internationally are discussed. This comparison identifies Australia as the industry that most closely resembles that of New Zealand.
Steele, Rhonda (2005): The Industrial Technology of Shore Whaling in New Zealand.
The aim of this study was to investigate the industrial technology of the 19th century shore whaling industry in New Zealand. The shore whaling industry of New Zealand, and more specifically the technology involved, has until recently been an undervalued and under-researched area of archaeology. Analysis was undertaken on remains from two case study sites in New Zealand; Te Hoe and Oashore. An interpretation of the evidence was presented using archaeological analysis, previous research and historical data to investigate the use and change of industrial technology. The results show that there were local adaptations and uses of technology within the industry and that these differ not only from other localities in New Zealand but also internationally. As one of the most early and influential industries the how, when and why of changes in shore whaling industrial technology can provide information about what was occurring in the larger context of the colonial period.
2004
Dudfield, David (2004): Sealers: The Lifestyle and Material Culture of Early to Mid 19th Century European Sealers in Southern New Zealand.
The contribution of sealers is largely ignored or glossed over in the history and archaeology of New Zealand. Yet these people were one of the first non-Maori groups to spend any length of time on our coasts. They brought both their material culture and lifestyle to New Zealand and had substantial impacts and interactions with the environment, fauna and indigenous people.

This essay is comprised of a substantial literature review of the historical sources and a reanalysis of archaeological material relating to sealers in New Zealand. This was undertaken to understand more about how they lived, what they brought here and how they interacted with other people and their environment.

Both primary and secondary historical sources were combined and contrasted with the excavated post-contact components of three caves at Southport, Chalky Inlet. When all these sources were used in conjunction, a method of interpreting and supporting the evidence with as many sources as possible provided a good insight of how sealers may have lived in the past. Their unique contribution to our past is finally being acknowledged.
Findlater, Amy (2004): Interpretation in Archaeology: An Investigation of a Fishbone Assemblage from Rurutu Island.
This paper aims to elucidate the nature of interpretation including the assumptions made, analogies used, reasoning employed and the plausibility of interpretations. This will be illustrated through the investigation of an ichthyofaunal assemblage from Rurutu Island. A narrative approach is taken to mimic the situation one faces in a real world investigation involving knowledge acquisition and the construction of interpretations. Types of data that influence interpretations are introduced as they were encountered during the investigation. This data included information relating to identification, provenance, quantification, taphonomy, fish behaviour and ecology, the environment, the excavation, ethnographic analogy and comparative studies. It was found that interpretations must be explicit and open to revision as additional data is understood. The narrative approach explicitly revealed the issues in interpretation of the ichthyofaunal assemblage. Inferences made from the assemblage revealed that human behaviour in relation to fishing strategies was similar to those observed elsewhere in the Pacific with a targeting of inshore reef flat and edge taxa.
Gay, Jason (2004): Selected Artefact Assemblage from Purakaunui (I44/21) Excavated During 2001, 2002, 2003.
The analysis of artefacts is an important part of archaeological investigation. At Purakaunui (I44/21) an assemblage of some 1413 artefacts have been selected from material excavated during 2001, 2002, and 2003. The use of phonolite, a local stone source, was important at Purakaunui, with some evidence for its use in the manufacture of polished stone tools. In contrast, basalt appears to have only been present at Purakaunui as finished adzes. The presence of obsidian as the third most numerous stone material is indicative of Purakaunui’s participation within trade networks that reached as far as the upper North Island. This analysis has been undertaken as initial work that is part of ongoing analysis involving Purakaunui’s artefact assemblage.
2003
Beu, Katerina (2003): The Physical Characteristics of Islands as Major Factors Influencing Anthropogenic Environmental Change in East Polynesian Prehistory: A Comparison Between Hawai’i, Easter Island and New Zealand.

The colonisation of the Pacific by prehistoric peoples led to significant anthropogenic environmental change on every island that was inhabited by humans. People affected their environments differently in Hawai’i, Easter Island and New Zealand. This was mainly a result of the differences between the environmental constraints experienced in the three island groups. These constraints were determined to a large degree by the locations, sizes and geological types of the islands, a model that can be applied to the whole of East Polynesia.


Gilmore, Helen (2003) : Southeast Asia, Maritime Trade and State Development: A Braudelian Perspective.
This study sets out to investigate the relationship between the participation of Southeast Asia in the trade of the maritime silk route in the first millennium A.D. and the state development in the region. In this period there was significant intensification of international maritime trade, and the archaeological record shows a corresponding major cultural change in the Mekong Delta region, and evidence of the emergence of trade-oriented polities. The aim of this research has been to consider the continuity between the long-established exchange patterns of prehistory and those of the early historic era, and the contribution of long-term environmental variables and evolving social structures to the eventual emergence of the states of Southeast Asia.

In order to do so, I have drawn upon the work of Fernand Braudel, an historian of the French Annales school of historiography, whose model of time for the analysis of history consists of three temporal scales, the interaction and dynamics of which form the background to historical changes and events. It was Braudel’s contention that the history of short-term events could be better understood by incorporating elements of the medium and long-term into the analysis when addressing an historical question. The Braudelian time scales offer a method for organising archaeological evidence in a comprehensive way, providing deeper levels of explanation when addressing complex questions about past societies, and uniting processual and post-processual approaches to the data.

I begin by considering the long-term features of the environment, climate and resources, the constraints they imposed and the opportunities they afforded for exchange-related activities. Secondly, I proceed to consider the social and economic structures which developed within the environmental framework, showing the extent to which developing social complexity coincided with increasing levels of exchange interaction, and the extent to which the state formation of the first century was built on the foundations of trade and society in prehistory. The third part of the model considers the contribution of external events, ideas and political forces to the functioning of the maritime silk route and the development of the Southeast Asian state.

Archaeological, textual, epigraphic and iconographic data are ordered and examined within the context of a Braudelian perspective in order to produce a synthesis of the continuity of Southeast Asian trade, the influences that shaped it, its implications for social change, and how this culminated in participation in international maritime trade and contributed to state development.


Harris, Jaden (2003): Direct Human Predation and Avifaunal Extinctions in the Pacific.
The colonisation of the Pacific Islands resulted in a mass extinction of birds. Records of extinct birds are especially rich from Eastern Polynesia and New Zealand. Human predation has been implicated in causing many of these extinctions since it was proved that they post-dated the arrival of man. Many early archaeological contexts show that native bird populations were heavily exploited. Many species were also affected by habitat loss and the impact of the Polynesian rat and other predators. While there is some evidence that human predation played a significant role in the decline of some species, for others the process of extinction is still unknown. In all cases every line of evidence has to be considered before an evaluation of the relative contribution of factors causing extinction can be attempted.
2002
Cawte, Hayden (2002): Was There a Bronze Age in Southeast Asia?
In recent years archaeologists working in Southeast Asia have adopted the relativist approach and denied the presence of a Bronze Age. It is suggested that various terms and concepts developed to describe and define Bronze Ages by scholars investigating around the world lack strict analogues within this area. Muhly (1988) has noted the non-compliance of Southeast Asia to previous models, “In all other corners of the Bronze Age world China, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, the Aegean and central Europe we find the introduction of bronze technology associated with a complex of social, political and economic developments that mark the rise of the state. Only in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand and Vietnam, do these developments seem to be missing” (Muhly, 1988:16). More recently White ((2002)) has noted that the terms Neolithic and Bronze Age do not connote “discrete region wide time periods, discrete sets of sites, or easily identifiable sets of societies exhibiting a clearly definable stage of social and technological development” (White, (2002):xvi). Using evidence from the recently excavated site of Ban Non Wat in Thailand, and others throughout Southeast Asia it is possible to establish a discrete time period for which sets of sites throughout the region, display a well established bronze industry from 1 500BC therefore offering a definable stage of technological development satisfying by most accounts the criteria of a Metal and Bronze Age.
Hurren, Kathryn (2002): Lapita: An Overview.
This thesis provides an overview of issues and debates concerning the study of Lapita. The Lapita peoples were a prehistoric population in the Southwest Pacific who colonized the area 3500BP. They settled the Bismarck Archipelago in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, a distance of 4500 km over a period of about 1000 years. They are widely known for their dentate-stamped ceramics, which has become their cultural marker, and are the ancestors of the Polynesians. The outline of the thesis is as follows: firstly, a general introduction is provided; the second chapter concerns the history and development of ideas in the study of Lapita from its initial discovery to the present and beyond; the third chapter provides a generalization of the Lapita cultural complex and debates surrounding it by reviewing who the Lapita peoples were, their origins, material culture, subsistence, settlement patterns and interaction. Chapter four reviews the evidence and debates of the Lapita expansion and the decline of their dentate-stamped ceramics as well as the evidence and debates for the Lapita peoples being the Polynesian ancestors by reviewing biological, linguistic and archaeological evidence. The thesis concludes with a general conclusion on the above material and indicates possible future directions.
Inglis, Raelene (2002): Recipes as Material Culture.
Patterns of food-related activity in New Zealand communities between 1920 and 1950, experienced change as the effects of the Depression and the Second World War imposed constraints on household food availability. Participation in community events, particularly those focused around food, codifies inclusion into that particular society and constitutes normalizing behaviour. One technique of engaging with a community and its food-related activities is through contribution to community-based cookery books.

Cookery books and recipes are a very recent source of research information already of proven worth in studies of gender and identity. Treated as valuable sources of social history, recipes also can be treated as ‘proto-material culture’ and subjected to similar analytical methods of investigation. Using detailed recipe-by-­recipe comparative analysis of ingredients and ingredient proportions, recipes can be analysed and their results interpreted to study the dynamics of social change. Recipes can be considered as a form of material culture that like ceramics respond to external events and socio-economic trends.

A pilot study encompassing three decades of selected New Zealand community and comparable cookery books from 1920 to 1950, examined 4069 recipes with 1280 recipes analysed. Results displayed significant substitutions and modification in response to the Depression and the onset of the Second World War, as well as retaining the essence of recipe ingredients in traditional recipes. Thus recipe books con show both innovation and conservatism, and in these respects are fully comparable to artefact assemblages
Kendrick, Richard (2002): Taphonomy of Avian Skeletal Remains from an Archaeological Site in North Otago (Shag Point 143/11).
Faunal remains within an archaeological context are subject to both pre-deposition and post-deposition processes. Understanding these events will ultimately provide a better view of how and why these remains became incorporated into the archaeological matrix of a site. It will also allow judgment of any potential deposition or natural bias that will influence the manner in which a faunal sample is evaluated. This study looks at the taphonomy of avian skeletal remains from Shag Point (J43/11), a coastal Otago site. Avian skeletal remains are notoriously difficult to assess archaeologically, given both their small size and fragility. Taphonomy hence plays a vital role in understanding why certain avian skeletal elements may be more prevalent in faunal assemblages than others.
Latham, Phillip (2002): Interpretations of the Purakaunui fish bone assemblage.
Fish bone analysis provides archaeologists with a means to examine prehistoric changes in subsistence strategies. This research looks at a number of issues related to the fish bone assemblage from the Purakaunui Site 144/21 in coastal Otago. As well as providing a brief review of the history of fish bone analysis in New Zealand, including some current methodological debates, this essay examines a selected sample of the Purakaunui fish bone assemblage, with a specific focus on investigating fish taxa relative abundances and change over time. It also compares the results to past studies at this site and those at nearby Mapoutahi Pa and Long Beach. The evidence supports earlier studies that show red cod and barracouta to be the dominant species in southern South Island prehistoric fish catches. However, it also shows that there may have been change over time with a greater emphasis given to targeting red cod relative to barracouta in the Classic period. This is certainly the case in the Purakaunui sample and there is evidence that this may have been the case at Mapoutahi and Long Beach. An hypothesis is advanced that this may be indicative of an increased focus on bait hook fishing in the transition from the Archaic to Classic.

This essay also investigates the benefits of incorporating otoliths, epihyals, palatines and hyomandibulars into fish bone studies. It is shown that while the five-paired mouthparts usually provide the highest MNI counts, the additional elements are useful because in some species they produce the highest MNI. A taphonomic issue relating to otoliths is also raised. Evidence has shown that while red cod otoliths are extremely durable elements they may also be a taphonomic oddity in that their size, shape and weight can result in some stratigraphic movement. When investigating change over time in fish taxa relative abundances, therefore, the incorporation of otoliths in the generation of MNI should be treated with some caution. Finally, this study shows that 3.2 mm screens are important for the accurate recovery of fractured but diagnostic red cod elements, a high percentage of which would have been lost through 6.4 mm sieves.


Scott, Andrew (2002): An Investigation of Archaeological Site 144/21 at Purakaunui for evidence of Historic Era Occupation.
Excavation of site 144/21 at Purakaunui during (2002) disclosed a collection of historic era artifacts. Analysis of stratigraphy determined that the artefacts all belonged to the uppermost cultural layer (2 a); this layer is distinct and caps all but one of the features excavated. Comparative dating of the historic artifacts recovered from layer 2a provided a date for the manufacture of the artifacts between 1810 and 1900. Interpretation of stratigraphy and the overlap in artefact dates suggests that the artifacts were deposited during the period directly following European contact in southern New Zealand. Historic research of Purakaunui supports this; a documented visit to the site in 1844 recalls a Maori settlement with the adoption of European habits. Recognition of a historically documented site in the archaeology provides physical evidence for the study of nineteenth century Maori life, rare in southern New Zealand archaeology.
Sharpe, Kiri (2002): Information Loss and Rescue Archaeology in Coastal Otago, New Zealand.
This dissertation examines loss of information from archaeological sites, a common problem experienced in sites all around the globe. This research essay is case study oriented, focusing on coastal and estuarine prehistoric Maori sites in Otago, New Zealand. Two case studies are presented and analysed in detail; Purakaunui as an example of a high dune estuarine site, and Watson’s Beach, an extensive low dune site complex behind an exposed coastal beach. This essay also looks at site values and the various threats that cause information loss in sites. Conservation techniques are also discussed with particular focus on rescue archaeology and the need for site monitoring.
Smith, Keith (2002): Distinguishing New Zealand Prehistoric from Historic Worked Nephrite by Microanalysis and Experimental Archaeology.
The research presented in this paper is intended as a pilot study into the investigation of whether nephrite worked by prehistoric Maori techniques of pounamu manufacture can be distinguished from those created in the historic period. The experimental recreation of techniques and the use of microscopic analysis are employed to this aim.
The study of manufacturing techniques of ground stone at a microscopic level is a highly over looked area of archaeology, since the use of a grinding technique is clearly visible on an objects external surface. For this reason when analysis of ground stone artifacts occurs it directed to use rather than manufacture.

However, being able to identify the abrasive and the technique used to grind a stone can, within New Zealand, provide important information. A distinction between prehistoric and historic ground stone items can provide:

A chronological division between that of prehistory and that of the historic period. A simple division, yet an important distinction that can affect research practice, by providing a broad temporal distinction to a site.

The distinction and discrimination of genuine Maori taonga, as opposed to those created to fulfill the antiquity trade. This trade was supplied with fraudulent ‘artefacts’ in the years post-contact.

The research presented summaries the characteristic features that can indicate the probable grinding medium, and the technology used. It is concluded that the grinding agent used, and in some cased the technology that has been used can be identified. Where polishing has obliterated traces of grinding, different patterns appear on the surface of the stone, however the analysis of this is problematic at low powered magnification with a small sample size. However results suggest that further analysis, with larger sample sizes, would be fruitful to better understand the research aim to a level beyond a pilot study.
Vogel, Yolanda (2002): Prehistoric Archaeological Features in Otago: A Classificatory Study
This study examines the treatment of archaeological features from prehistoric Otago. An historical review of archaeology in Otago is presented in order to place the study within its context. An analysis of the available data on features reveals that a wide range of terms has been used to describe a relatively simple set of features. It is argued that this number of terms is unnecessary, and inhibits the incorporation of the evidence provided by features into wider interpretations of prehistory. The descriptive information on features is used in the development of a systematic classification system, which is then presented along with a discussion of the range and variation encompassed within each class. Finally, the implications of this work for the archaeology and prehistory of Otago are considered.

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