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?
> 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.
Y’all come on down now, y’hear? You’d be most welcome. We are about to throw out Helen and her motley crew of scolding socialist schoolmarms and lying lesbian liberals, in this year’s election.
The tides are changing, and Helengrad shall soon be no more...
"Once were Warriors" is probably the film you are specifically referring to: it played in the US, and is based upon Alan Duff's book by the same name (the first of three books: followed by "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" -- also a movie that had limited US release, and another one which I can't recall)
Alan Duff is a Maori, and writes on Maori social issues. "Once Were Warriors" and "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" does indeed paint an ugly picture of Maoridom at its underbelly. "Slimy" probably isn't the right word for it: "Extremely Violent" describes it better.
That aspect definitely exists, just like "Colors" depicts a certain aspect of the Black experience in the US.
As with all stereotypes, they do not play out well in the absolute. Maori culture is rich and very exciting, Maori hospitality is legendary, their arts and technologies are truly amazing, and their bravery on the battlefield is without equal anywhere in the world.
I spend a fair bit of time with Maori organizations, most particularly the Ezekiel 33 Charitable Trust, whose mission is to keep youth-at-risk away from drugs, crime, and the gangs -- which is a mission entirely compatible with the Guardian Angels, of which I am the NZ National Director. They are a fantastic organization.
In many ways, the Maori experience with Europeans mirrors the Canadian Indian experience: treaties were put in place, and treaties were broken, and land was expropriated unfairly and their culture was suppressed: without ever once being beaten fair-and-square in battle.
I think it is this latter point that galls them the most. Their deal with the Crown makes them equals to all New Zealanders: some would argue that it makes their system of government equal to Parliament. And yet, until quite recently, Maori were treated as anything but equal.
We are now paying the piper for that.
Cheers for that, blam!
The Maori warrior gene has been topical of late:
My neighbor, who is from New Zealand says his favorite team is the ‘All Blacks.’ He says they are the toughest/roughest because of the Maori presence on the team.
I agree with your neighbor, blam! Check this out:
Now, imagine if you had a war party of these characters, complete with their facial tattoos, riding in Huey helicopters, hooning around the streets of Tehran Air Cav-style.
It would give the Mad Mullahs visions of the Apocalypse, for certain: they would repent and sin no more.
There are few things on this earth more chilling than a Maori war party.
> Maori Men And Women From Different Homelands
Very plausible: if you’re a member of a raiding war party, why not pick up some women along the way?
Although if you read Te Arawa’s history (which was originally oral by nature) at least that Maori Iwi brought women with them. They settled in and around Rotorua and Whakatane.
I find it fascinating that scientists insist that Maori came from Taiwan. Frankly I don’t believe it for a moment. If you ask Maori where they came from, they will tell you “Hawaiki”.
Now, scientists insist that “Hawaiki” isn’t Hawaii. Yet if you travel to Hawaii and hear Hawaiian as it is spoken, it is quite understandable if you can also speak Maori: the words are very, very close, as is the grammar.
Tahitians are Maori: I have a mate who is the local chief here in West Auckland. He is also a chief — by blood — in Tahiti.
Cook Islanders also speak a language so similar to Maori that it can be easily understood.
If I had to guess, I’d say that Maori migrated East to West, and if there are any genes in Taiwan similar to theirs, it is probable that THEY colonized Taiwan and Indonesia — not the other way around.
Maori and Samoans and Tongans and other Pacific Islanders used the Pacific currents as frequently and as reliably as we use Interstate Hiways. They were great maritime powers, in their time. I have yet to hear of any real maritime exploits from Taiwan.