Archaeology



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Archaeology

Completed BA (Hons) and PGDipArts Dissertations
2014
Beynon, Nicholas (2014): Wairarapa Gardens and Pa: An Archaeological Study.
This dissertation investigates the relationship between gardens and pa in the Wairarapa. Principally assisted by the New Zealand Archaeological Site Recording Scheme it focused on further understanding a region that has been neglected since the Wairarapa Research Programme over 40 years ago. It intended to better understand garden related site types in the Wairarapa by classifying them into direct or indirect forms of horticulture. This is an important measure to understanding the distribution of these sites in the Wairarapa and whether there was a consistent pattern between them and pa. This relationship was analysed using a consistent method of distance measurements based on how they were recorded in the Site Recording Scheme. This data is presented in a series of graphs, maps and tables to provide a modern understanding to the sites, most of which were recorded in the 1960s and 1970s. Aerial photographs are also used in the investigation to provide a different perspective on site relationships and the assess the reliability of the Site Recording Scheme. The analysis indicated that there is no consistent relationship between pa and garden systems in the Wairarapa.
Eising, Kate (2014): Childs Play: an archaeological assessment of 19th century children's toys.
Excavations at the Victoria Retail Centre in Whanganui recovered a relatively sizeable assemblage of nineteenth century children's toys. This dissertation analyses these toys and attempts to determine what kinds of activities these artefacts represent and to what extent these activities are gender specific. A discussion is undertaken on the role these toys played in raising children and how they could be used to train children for the social and cultural expectations that accompany adulthood. Furthermore this assemblage is compared to the historical record and other assemblages to reveal how representative archaeological remain are of the full range of children's toys available in the nineteenth century.
Harris, Terena (2014): Fish vertebrae as diagnostic elements in New Zealand archaeology
In this research dissertation a methodology has been constructed that allows fish vertebrae to be identified to species level. This was accomplished through the use of morphological characteristics and a comprehensive reference collection. In order to test the validity of the methodology, the method was applied to a case study. In this application 93% of the assemblage could be identified to species level. Using the vertebrae, 11 species were identified at the site, two of which were not identified using the mouthparts and special bones. At present, most New Zealand archaeologists analysing fish bone assemblages restrict themselves to using on the five-paired mouthparts and special bones to aid their taxonomic identifications. This results in a large portion of excavated material being disregarded. Vertebrae are often the most abundant element found in fish bone assemblages, and ignoring them in analysis is producing biases in the data.
Lord, James (2014): Modelling Mobility and Landscape Use. A preliminary examination of mobility theories and landscape use in the Strath-Taieri region of Inland Otago.
The current model used to describe mobility patterns in early New Zealand was proposed by Anderson and Smith (1996). The transient village displays all the main indicators of sedentism while also operating within a system that involved mobility. These villages were based around large bodied prey such as seals and moa and therefore primarily located in coastal areas (Anderson and Smith 1996; Nagaoka 2002; Walter et al 2006). While these coastal sites have been the focus of much archaeological research, many inland sites have largely been ignored. By reviewing the available data for the Strath-Taieri region of Inland Otago and examining how theories of mobility may be applied. From the available data I show that it is likely that early Polynesian settlers in New Zealand practised a logistically organised form of mobility. The transient village on the coast remains the hub of permanent settlement where everyday activities take place. Logistically organised task groups of foragers would set out from these villages in order to procure food and raw materials. These resources would then be transported back to the residential base to be used by the community. Thisstudy illustrates that theories of mobility may be used in order to explain the distribution of archaeological sites and landscape use in the Strath-Taieri region.
Ross, Victoria (2014): The European Greenstone Industry in Otago: Archaeological and Historical Evidence
This research dissertation provides a comprehensive history and understanding of the European greenstone industry in Otago during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Using the chaine operatoire method of lithic reconstruction, this work attempted to reconstruct the manufacturing methods of the lapidary at this time using archaeological material. followed by the introduction of documentary evidence to fill in the gaps. It was found that while the archaeological evidence could show some of the process, there were gaps in the knowledge, and so documentary evidence was essential in some areas. To date no work has been published looking at this industry from an archaeological point of view, all work has been from a historical view. In some cases the archaeological material gave evidence contrary to that in the documentation, clearly showing the need for more archaeological investigation in the area. As most sites relating to the period are in urban areas this will most likely only happen through CRM (Cultural Resource Management) work, and as such will occur only as rescue excavations which can miss some of the information. In saying this, any new information that can be added to this part of the country's history is valuable.

Sanders, Jane Emily (2014): Creating Communities: Heritage Management in the Clutha District
Heritage management is a discipline by which the heritage landscapes of communities are created, protected and preserved for the future. The processes that underpin heritage management legislation directly influence heritage outcomes and are influenced themselves by the way heritage is viewed from a national, regional and local perspective. This research explorer the ways in which New Zealand's heritage legislation - specifically the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Historic Places Act 1993 - has worked in conjunction with local authority planning documents to create heritage landscapes. It specifically examines heritage management processes in the Clutha District of New Zealand to determine firstly how heritage has been identified, evaluated, managed and protected in the Clutha District and secondly how the heritage landscape is viewed, understood and used by the local community. This research examines definitions of heritage, local and national mechanisms of heritage identification and protection and m through case studies, examines how two Clutha communities view, understand and valus heritage landscapes of their towns. The protection of heritage in local communities is often seen as essential to ensuring that people are able to connect with the past, live in the present and plan for the future. This research considers the validity of this principle through case studies of Lawrence and Balclutha and examines the effectiveness of the current approaches to heritage management to determine if the landscapes being created contribute positvely to the communities in which they stand.
Tennant, Karl (2014): Sieving Strategies in New Zealand archaeofaunal analysis. A methodological assessment.
This dissertation focuses on the influence that the use of 6.4mm, 3.2mm, and 2mm screen sizes has on the retrieval of data from faunal assemblages recovered from three separate prehistoric archaeological assemblages in New Zealand. Bulk midden samples recovered from archaeological sites at Kahukura, Tokanui and Cooks Cove were used as test samples to determine how relative taxonomic abundance is influenced by the degree of rigour used in the recovery of archaeofaunal remains. Rigourous identification procedures were employed to determine how the recovery of various elements of fauna is influenced by screen size. Issues surrounding optimal retrieval of data and potential for fine screen sieving for improving outcomes in faunal analysis research are addressed and the viability of fine screening for broadening understandings of interregional variation in economic behaviour in New Zealand prehistory is assessed.
2013
Allen, Francesca (2013): Impacting vegetation communities. Accessing the anthropogenic effects of early Polynesian settlement at two East Otago archaeological sites.

The anthracological analysis of cultural charcoal from archaeological sites is a growing field of paleobotany within New Zealand. The stratified archaeological site of Purakaunui (144/21) on the east coast of southern New Zealand provides an excellent opportunity to apply anthracological methods to assess change over time. Purakaunui represents one of the initial Polynesian settlements within the region. The site's paleobotanical record is investigated so as to identify how anthropogenic actions impacted the vegetative environment. The investigation of cultural charcoal from Purakaunui can inform on the scope of anthropogenic interactions with local vegetation. A comparison with the record of vegetation change at the environmentally similar Shag River Mouth archaeological site (J43/2) provides an assessment of wider regional impacts and the range of anthropogenic actions in the course of early East Otago Polynesian settlement.


Foster, Danielle Ashley (2013): Culture History to Ethnicity. A Review of the Archaeology of Ethnicity as a Global Theory and its Reflection in New Zealand's Archaeological Practices.
This dissertation examines the changing nature of the archaeology of ethnicity in the form a review of this topic. One aspect of this work is looking at the global acknowledgement of ethnicity throughout the history of the study of archaeology as a discipline, and how over time the representations and conclusions drawn may have changed. The second aspect is looking at how new theories have had an influence on how ethnicity is being determined. Based on this idea that new theories are having an effect on the determination of ethnicity, this dissertation attempts to examine if these international movements are having an effect on the work carried out in New Zealand that is related to the study of ethnicity. Examples are drawn from different ethnic groups in New Zealand as well as a spread across the timeline of which international changes can be seen from culture history to ethnicity.
Gaffney, Dylan (2013): Crossing the Transition: Mobility and Subsistence change in the Central New Guinea Highlands at the Terminal Pleistocene-Mid Holocene.
Studies on the prehistory of the Papua New Guinea Highlands have emphasised environmental change, contemporaneous with the independent innovation of agriculture at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition through to the mid-Holocene. An analysis of a lithic assemblage from Kiowa rockshelter, in the Central Highlands, was used to investigate changes in people's mobility and subsistence at this important time. This study shows that human activity at Highlands' rockshelters at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition was not intensive, but in the early and mid-Holocene, occupation increased simultaneous with the intensification of agriculture and the increase of Highlands' population size. People at this time used mobile toolkits of small flakable stone to enable longer distance mobility for hunting while primarily reliant on abundant local stone for more local mobility. In the mid-late Holocene, occupation of rockshelters diminished, probably corresponding to gardens being used at these higher altitudes.
Heath, Helen Rosemary (2013): Enter the Ceramic Matrix: Identifying the Nature of Earlt Austronesian settlement and Subsequent Change through Time in the Cagayan Valley, Philippines.
The research presented in this dissertation involved the physico-chemical analysis of a ceramic assemblage from the site of Nagsabaran located in Lal-lo, Cagayan Valley, Northern Luzon, Philippines. The aim of this research was to answer two questions. The first was to identify the nature of the early Austronesian settlement through pottery production in Nagsabaran. The second question was to assess a change through time from pottery production in the Neolithic to the Iron Age. These questions were to be addressed through two methods. The first was to undertake the first physico-chemical analysis on ceramics from the site to study the mobility patterns of the early Austronesian settlement in the Philippines. The second method involved assessing mobility and sedentism through the use of models proposed by Summerhayes (2000). These models theorise that pottery can identify the nature of settlement, whether it be mobile or sedentary. To answer these questions a physico-chemical analysis was used to examine the clay matrix and mineral inclusions of the ceramic assemblage from Nagsabaran. The organisation of this data through the use of multivariate statistical techniques enabled the creation of groups based on chemical similarity. The research carried out through the physico-chemical analysis identifies a mobile society during the Neolithic in the Cagayan Valley changing through time to a sedentary society in the Iron Age. The research in turn validates that models proposed by Summerhayes (2000).
Hurford, Jessie (2013): Moriori tree carving on Rēkohu. A stylisitc analysis of rākau momori.
In this research, a stylistic analysis is conducted on the novel, archaeological Moriori tree carvings of Rēkohu (Chatham Island). The tree carving data sets are sourced from historic records, including sketches and photographs, and more recent University of Otago survey work, including digital photographs and 3-D scans. The analysis that follows includes two primary components. Firstly, the frequency and distribution of carving attributes are identified from defined localities on Rēkohu. Secondly, the frequencies of attributes are examined between localities to test for the distinctive carving styles argued by Simmons (1980). Cladistical and hierarchical clustering models are employed to assess the degree to which cultural transmission occurs between defined localities of rākau momori (lit.“memorial tree”). This research contributes to our understanding of pre-contact Moriori social organization and distribution on Rēkohu.
Lane, Jennifer (2013): Cemetery Studies: International Trends and Local Case Studies .
This research investigates the ways in which cemeteries have been studied internationally and within New Zealand, and from these studies, a set of 8 research questions were developed and tested in a pilot study carried out in the Northern Cemetery of Dunedin. The Northern Cemetery is a category 1 protected site on the Historic Places Trust’s list, as it is one of the earliest cemeteries in New Zealand that interred the public in a nondenominational layout. This pilot study was based on Phillip Edgar’s (1995) Master’s project in the Southern Cemetery’s Presbyterian section, and adopted many of his classification forms, but also recorded several attributes from other national studies. This investigation consisted of 52 randomly selected plots from the within the 200 blocks of the cemetery, spanning the whole period of occupation from 1873 to the current year. The 8 research questions investigated the relationships between the historical context (particularly class, society, and ideology) and the physical remains of the plots (through the plot dimensions, location, material, morphology, inscriptions, and iconography). The study identified a set of four classes within the cemetery that were dependent on the physical dimensions and location of the plot, and also discovered that several of the physical attributes varied depending on the class. These attributes were also investigated in terms of their changes over time and compared to the ideological and social contexts to identify if there was a relationship between them. While the sample was not large enough for an accurate study of the social and ideological changes during the period of occupation, the pilot study investigated many physical attributes of the plots in details that suggested patterns that would become clearer in a larger study.
Lewis, Julia (2013): Feasting at Wairau Bar. A taphonomic study of pre-depostitional modification to a faunal assemblage.
This dissertation focuses on an assemblage of moa and mammal remains from a Wairau Bar midden. The material dates from the earliest phase of New Zealand settlement and is the result of the disposal of the waste after a single feast event that occurred at the site. A taphonomic analysis of the remains was undertaken with a specific interest in the pre-depositional modifications. The various modifications caused by both human and animal taphonomic agents are used to develop interpretations and hypotheses about early Māori practices around food procurement, preparation, and disposal. Aspects of the relationship between the Māori and the Polynesian dog are also discussed.
Pulman, Natasha (2013): Small Change. A Study of Gambling at the Lawrence Chinese Camp.
The Chinese had a major role in early New Zealand and even now their presence and influence is still great especially in the Otago and Southland regions. Their initial purpose was to mine and ‘get rich quick’ in order to return to China with greater wealth, this is described as the ‘sojourner experience’ (Ng, 1993). Although not all Chinese returned home, some by choice and others unable to, for much of their time in New Zealand the sojourner attitude prevailed. This attitude led to indulgence in the so called ‘vices’ of opium and gambling which created the notorious and sensationalised image of Chinese in New Zealand. Lawrence Chinese Camp contains a wealth of gambling artefacts including: Chinese Coins, European Coins and Glass Gaming Pieces (Wegars, 2006). Each of these classes of artefact offer information including: the mints from which the Chinese coins (wen) originate, the denominations of the European coins, and the numbers of Black and White Glass Gaming Pieces. The Lawrence Chinese Camp and its gambling assemblage are placed into the historic context of gold rush era New Zealand, explaining all the prejudices and sensationalism in the historic record that arose with the arrival of the Chinese miners and the habits they brought with them.
Robertson, Fin (2013): Landscape Archaeology of Historical Rural Industries of Sandymount.
This dissertation takes a landscape approach to examining the physical manifestations of historical rural industry in the Sandymount region on the Otago Peninsula. The study area contains examples of several of the important industries undertaken during the 19th century in New Zealand. Surveys of several house sites were carried out, and numerous other landscape features were recorded, in order to create a picture of the activities that occurred. Historical research was carried out to see how these activities fitted in with Dunedin and New Zealand as a whole, and why these activities changed over time. Dairy farming was the most common industry in the area, which was superseded by sheep farming in the 20th century. There were also minor forays into lime production, flax milling.
Roughan, Stacey Laura (2013): Analysing fragmented glass artefacts using the Lawrence Chinese Camp as a case study.
Glass artefacts that are highly fragmented are difficult to analyse. It is important to have a systematic approach and an effective method of analysis. This dissertation presents a possible new method that uses a combination of hierarchical categorisation and multinomial logistic regression to predict which of the vessels that the glass pieces originated from. This approach was applied to a selection of the glass assemblage from the Lawrence Chinese Camp as a case study. The regression only used a selection of the best data generated from the assemblage to create the best possible results. It correctly predicted the categories 80% of the time but was deemed too inefficient to be applied further. With further research the method could become a valuable tool for archaeologists in the future.
Scahill, Alexander (2013): Defending Dunedin: The Archaeology of Dunedin's Coastal Fortifications 1885-1945.
This dissertation is an archaeological analysis of Dunedin's coastal military fortifications in the period from the 1880s, when the country was threatened with Russian invasion, through until the end of the Second World War. This investigation examines the nature and extent of these fortifications, and was conducted through both field survey and mapping, and historical research. With very little previous work conducted on these types of site, this research provides valuable insight into fortification construction methods and temporal change throughout this period. This investigation also examines the mindset of a young nation, and their reaction when facing for the first time a serious external threat to their way of life.
Vilgalys, Gabrielius (2013): Do Hiccups Echo? Mobility Patterns During EPP in the Port Moresby Region, Papua New Guinea.
The research presented here involved physicochemical analysis of ceramics from two EPP sites, Eriama [ACV] and Taurama [AJA], located in the Port Moresby region on the central south coast of Papua New Guinea. This research was driven by three main goals. Firstly to undertake physicochemical analysis on ceramics produced during EPP and post-EPP to provide insight into ceramic production and mobility during the Ceramic Hiccup that follows the end of EPP. Secondly to test the hypothesis put forth by Bulmer (1978) suggesting a continued occupation at Taurama [AJA] from 2000BP to 300BP. Lastly this study was undertaken with the hope of providing comparative data surrounding ceramic production during and after EPP. To achieve these goals physicochemical analysis was undertaken with foci on the clay matrices and non-plastic mineral inclusions used in ceramic manufacture. Through multivariate analysis this data was grouped into chemically related groups. Through the use of physicochemical analysis this research suggests that there was a great deal of mobility during EPP, with highly interactive groups, and that this trend declines over time and settlements become sedentary following the Ceramic Hiccup. At Eriama [ACV] there was a highly mobile group occupying the site only intermittently. At Taurama [AJA], Bulmer’s (1978) hypothesis cannot be sustained as the data reveals a great deal of mobility at Taurama [AJA] during EPP and the Ceramic Hiccup with a sedentary settlement only arising after.
2012
Anderson, Teri (2012): Moriori Fishing on Northeastern Rekohu. An archaeolozoological investigation.
Archaeozoological fish bone assemblages from midden deposits located within Kainagaroa Station Covenant and Taia Bush Historic Reserve, two Kopi (Corynocarpus laevigatus) groves along the northeastern coast of Rekohu (Chatham Island), are analysed to investigate whether pre-contact Moriori relied upon local versus non-local finfish resources. The findings of the analysis were used to test previous interpretations of Moriori regional resource distribution and contrasts to fishing behaviours of east Polynesian migrants to mainland New Zealand. The results show Moriori were primarily targeting Parapercis colias, a non-local hard shore species, even when Rhombosolea spp., a locally available soft shore species were available. Moriori fishing strategies on northeastern Rekohu demonstrate a significant resource exploitation zone highly targeted on non-local hard shore finfish species and transportation over significant distances to kopi forest localities behind the extensive soft shore coastline of Hanson Bay.
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