Skip to comments.Humans May Have Come To New Zealand Later Than Though
Posted on 06/03/2008 3:50:05 PM PDT by blam
Humans May Have Come To New Zealand Later Than Thought
Humans Arrived In New Zealand 1,000 Years Later Than Believed, New Study Finds
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jun. 3, 2008
(AP) Radiocarbon dating of rat bones and rat-gnawed seeds reinforces a theory that human settlers did not arrive in New Zealand until 1300 A.D. _ about 1,000 years later than some scientists believe, according to a study released Tuesday.
The first settlement date "has been highly debated for decades," said Dr. Janet Wilmshurst, a New Zealander who led the international team of researchers in the four-year study. The team carbon dated rat bones and native seeds, and concluded that the earliest evidence of human colonization in the South Pacific country was from 1280 A.D. to 1300 A.D.
Retired Maori Studies professor Ranganui Walker said the findings supported the oral history of the Maoris who claim they were the first Polynesians to arrive in New Zealand around that time. The Morioris, non-Maori Polynesians, have claimed they arrived earlier.
"We now have a clear picture of our country's settlement that lays to rest once and for all the Moriori myth, and so it is something to celebrate," Walker said.
The study, published Tuesday in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contradicts findings from a previous radiocarbon dating study of rat bones, published in Nature magazine in 1996. That study found evidence that man was in New Zealand from around 200 B.C.
Wilmshurst and her team re-excavated and re-dated bones from nearly all the previously investigated sites. They said none of the rat bones that they studied were from earlier than 1280.
"As the Pacific rat or kiore cannot swim very far, it can only have arrived in New Zealand with people on board their canoes, either as cargo or stowaways," Wilmshurst said. "Therefore, the earliest evidence of the Pacific rat in New Zealand must indicate the arrival of people."
The new dating of the rat bones was also supported by the dating of more than 100 woody seeds _ many with telltale rat bite markings _ that had been preserved in peat and swamp sites on North and South Islands, Wilmshurst noted.
Dr. Tom Higham, a member of Wilmhurst's team and deputy director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit at Oxford University, said the teeth marks could not be mistaken for those of another animal.
He said the rat-gnawed seeds provided strong additional evidence for the arrival of rats, and therefore humans, and were an indirect way of testing the veracity of the dates done on the rat bones.
Among the seeds analyzed were some that were intact or bird-cracked, and the rat-gnawed ones occurred in both islands only after about 1280.
But Prof. Richard Holdaway, a lead researcher on the earlier human contact theory published in Nature, on Tuesday stood by his 1996 study that found evidence of rats and humans in New Zealand more than 2,000 years ago.
"Rats arrived, people obviously arrived (but) whether they stayed _ I have consistently said they didn't," he told TV3 News. He also suggested that the new research team did not consider all available evidence in its study, leading to the different results.
But University of Adelaide paleontologist Trevor Worthy, a member of the Wilmhurst team, was adamant the new carbon dating results proved the Nature claim wrong.
"There is no supporting ecological or archaeological evidence for the presence of Pacific rat or humans until 1280-1300 A.D. and the reliability of the bone dating from that first study has been questioned," Worthy said. He did not explain why the other study had been questioned, or by whom.
There are humans in New Zealand?
They must have been flying on American.......
New Zealand seems like a nice enough country for all of us U.S. conservatives to move over there very soon in large numbers and then revive conservatism there. New Zealand is still a very socialistic country today.
There is an alternate theory. Those were not rat bite markings at all. Rather the gnawing of a young man while in the process of taking the SAT exam.
I don’t know anything about the Maoris, they might be totally fine people but from their appearance as shown in movies they look like really slimy characters.
Some scientists had thought that humans came to NZ 1,000 years earlier than 1,300 AD ???
Then those scientists are dumb...
First the Moa Hunters came...
Then shortly after or about the same time the Maoris sailed in from Tahiti in their 7 out-rigger canoes...
That was about 900-1,000 AD...
About the same time another group went to Hawaii)
And about the same time the Vikings arrived in America...
Any NZ school kid could have told the scientists that...
The problem in archaeology is when to stop laughing.
LOL! I love it!!!!!
I should cite the source:
Dr Glyn Daniel
Antiquity Dec 1961
I'm pretty sure humans got there long before thought arrived
Thanks Blam. Well, they *do* call it "New" Zealand, after all.
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Picture from, Historic Places in New Zealand Magazine, June 1983.
This is said to be a Maori Pa (hill and peninsula fortifications) and within New Zealand there are upwards of 1500-registered Pa sites. The styles of construction are exactly the same as Bronze Age to Iron Age British hill forts. The New Zealand varieties tend to replicate the earliest British styles, where pallisaded barrier fences were erected to keep an enemy at bay. British Archaeologist, Allene Fox, amongst others, commented on the startling similarity between hillfort styles at opposite ends of the globe. The massive undertaking to build so many large fortified positions cannot, realistically, be attributed to the Polynesian Maori, whose advent into New Zealand was in the 13th or 14th centuries AD.
Mrs. Renfield and I went to New Zealand in 2002. Wonderful country. I’d go back again but for the fact that the American dollar has fallen precipitously against the New Zealand dollar in the last few years.
"Martin Doutre's book, "Ancient Celtic New Zealand", suggests strongly that the ancient peoples who inhabited these shores before the Maori arrived, had the knowledge and culture of folk with a kindred "Celtic" civilisation. This extended to stonework and standing stones, the working of stone, artstyles (from which current Maori styles appear to have developed along with other contributions), petroglyphs and possibly even into language."
“As the Pacific rat or kiore cannot swim very far, it can only have arrived in New Zealand with people on board their canoes, either as cargo or stowaways,” Wilmshurst said. “Therefore, the earliest evidence of the Pacific rat in New Zealand must indicate the arrival of people.”
And why is it impossible that people might have arrived without rats?
> There are humans in New Zealand?
There are Americans in California?
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