Archaeology 14th Century Artifacts in Westport, NZ

Discussion in 'Archaeology' started by mscbkc070904, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    This one is for you Helen, maybe you can elaborate more since this is a short article.

    Mar 4, 2005

    A dig on the outskirts of Westport has revealed artefacts dating back to the 14th century.

    Archeologists are uncovering crucial information about New Zealand's first settlers and experts are describing the area as one of the country's most significant archeological sites.

    For students and archaeologists, the find is a field trip everyone is excited about.

    "Alot of these sites have been damaged through development or erosion or road building or something like that," says Chris Jacomb from the Historic Places Trust.

    The site - located at the mouth of the Buller river near Westport - is proving fruitful, with the archaeologists finding artefacts from around 650 years ago.

    "This provides us with a very strong tangible link from early sites here and their East Polynesia ancestors," says archeologist Richard Walter.

    The soil and tools will be DNA tested to see what else can be learnt.

    "We always like to have lots of questions," says Jacomb.
     
  2. helenheaven

    helenheaven Premium Member

    If I find some more information on this I will surely update, a significant find as very, very little is known about pre - European settlement In New Zealand.

    The site is not far from me, am tempted to cruise over for a look!

    Will be on the look out for some local news about what they are uncovering. Interesting that it is on the West Coast, as of course Polynesia lies to the East. The West Coast is also a very cold, wet and unrelenting rough hilly area....with rough seas.

    It would mean they crossed the fertile plains of Canterbury to settle in a rather foreboding area, makes you wonder why ...on the run from another tribe ?

    [Edited on 4-3-2005 by helenheaven]
     
  3. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Update

    Discoveries at an ancient Maori village site near Carters Beach, 6km west of Westport, are driving an archaeological breakthrough of international significance.


    Project co-ordinator Chris Jacomb, who is also regional archaeologist for New Zealand Historic Places Trust, said outstanding examples of New Zealand's earliest stone tools had been uncovered at the Buller River site and had already generated widespread interest.

    An investigating team completed work at the site last week and left thrilled with discoveries made during this year's three-week project, he said.

    The site's high preservation and very early evidence made it of international significance, Mr Jacomb said.

    "The site is pretty much still intact. In fact, it's amazingly intact."

    It was by far the most exciting and best-preserved of 20 known moa-hunting settlements in the country. Settlement at the site dated back to the first generation of Polynesian settlers to arrive in New Zealand, 700 years ago.

    The design of carefully crafted fishing lures found there came from East Polynesia. Flat sandstone used to manufacture them featured smooth grooves where stone had been shaped.

    Faultless nephrite tools, a deep emerald green, were also discovered. Several of the artefacts were found buried together, as if hidden in a stash.

    Mr Jacomb said the use of different kinds of stone indicated that early settlers had familiarised themselves particularly well with the environment, within a generation.

    The site's significance could provide a useful connection to the past, Mr Jacomb told a Westport Rotary closing presentation last week.

    A new museum or Coaltown upgrade would provide a great tourist attraction where the artefacts could be kept in the area on display.

    Source: www.stuff.co.nz