Northland bay confirmed as one of oldest human settlements in NZ
Radiocarbon dates, moa bones and extinct shellfish have confirmed a small cove in the Bay of Islands was home to some of the first humans to set foot in New Zealand.
Mangahawea Bay, on Moturua Island, was first excavated in 1981 by team of archaeologists from Auckland. Their finds included a hāngī pit, shells from a limpet which became extinct around the time people first arrived in New Zealand, and a pendant made from what appeared to be a tropical shell.
If that was the case, the pendant must have travelled across the Pacific with the ancestors of Māori.
For reasons which were unclear the dig was never written up and the finds ended up in boxes scattered around New Zealand.
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“Europeans abstract space, they objectivise it, externalise it and fix it. They then measure it with the invisible lines of latitude and longitude, measure where you are and then travel,” he said.
Polynesians imagined a world where “people didn’t move”, but the “world moved around them”, Eckstein said.
As part of Tuia 250, ākona (students) in Marlborough and the East Coast are participating in gaming workshops to explore and share their local histories. The Games for Tuia project is led by NZCER working in collaboration with Gamefroot, and encourages tamariki to run with their imaginations in game design – telling stories like that of Kupe and Te Wheke o Muturangi.
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