June 30, 2023
Hangi stones offer clues to sub-Antarctic wandering
Auckland University and Ngai Tahu archaeologists are digging into ancient Māori connections with the sub-Antarctic island nearly 500 kilometres south of Aotearoa.
Professor Simon Holdaway says previous researchers found evidence of Maori occupation in the Auckland Islands, Motu Maha or Maungahuka, between the 14th and 15th centuries.
His team, including scientists Dr Matiu Prebble and Dr Gerard O’Regan, have collected fresh samples from middens and an old hangi pit on the northernmost Enderby Island which might extend the date of occupation.
What we were really interested in, is in fact determining whether occupation extended beyond that early period in the time before colonisation – so before, for instance, the 1800s.
Professor Holdaway says they hope to determine whether Maori may have been visiting the islands seasonally well into the 19th century.