Site dating people new zealand

31-Jul-2019 14:38

It also allows the human settlement of New Zealand to be placed more accurately in the context of the broader settlement pattern of East Polynesia.Dr Wilmshurst and her colleagues are now turning their attention to other islands in East Polynesia where similar controversies exist over the timing of initial human settlement.The width of the teeth marks left on the woody seeds exactly match those of a rat's two front teeth, and cannot be mistaken for any other seed predator.In our search for rat-gnawed seeds we also found evidence of past native seed predator on the tough little miro () leave their own distinctive signature of opening up these tough little nuts.Radiocarbon dating of kiore bones suggests they were introduced to New Zealand c. However, these radiocarbon ages are controversial because there is no supporting ecological and archaeological evidence for the presence of kiore or humans until c. An international team of researchers, led by Dr Janet Wilmshurst from Landcare Research, spent 4 years on a study which shows conclusively that the earliest evidence for human colonisation is about 1280-1300 AD, and no earlier.They based their results on new radiocarbon dating of Pacific rat bones and rat-gnawed seeds.With over 165 dates on seeds and bones from a large number of sites, the overwhelming evidence suggests that rats and their human carriers did not reach New Zealand until about 1280 AD.The earliest dates for rat and human arrival are strikingly consistent with the oldest dates from archaeological sites, the first large clearances of forest by fire, and declines or extinctions of marine and land-based fauna.

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This layer is the distinctive Kaharoa ash which erupted 1314 ±12 AD.

This age has several important implications; firstly rat predation only began after 1280 which is much shorter period than previously implied and makes the risk to currently declining populations of rat-sensitive species more pressing as they could be diminishing faster than previously assumed.

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