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ANTH330 New Zealand Archaeology

Examination of past and recent research in archaeology of the New Zealand region (North, South, Stewart, Chathams and Subantarctic Islands), from initial human settlement until the recent past.

This paper offers students new and stimulating archaeological insights into the origins, development, identities and interactions of the Māori, Moriori, and later settler peoples of New Zealand. Case studies range across the New Zealand archipelago, including the Chatham Islands. The course considers when, where, and how the first Polynesians and their accompanying plants and animals were transferred from the tropics into the colder lands of temperate New Zealand as well as the impacts of those new arrivals on New Zealand's native fauna and flora. We explore the ways in which society, economy, ideology, patterns of settlement and exchange developed as Polynesians first colonised the diverse New Zealand islands, from the subtropical far north to the subpolar south. We then consider the archaeology of the more recent historical past in New Zealand. We examine changes in Māori culture, society and economy, the emergence of a distinctive Pākehā culture during the first half of the 19th century, and the post-1860s development of Kiwi culture that incorporates the gradually transforming traditions of Māori, Pākehā and other immigrant groups.

Paper title New Zealand Archaeology
Paper code ANTH330
Subject Anthropology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,092.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,004.75

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18 200-level ANTH or 108 points
ARCH 304, ANTH 430
Schedule C
Arts and Music
May not be credited together with ANTH309 passed in 2011 or 2012.

Teaching staff

Coordinator: Associate Professor Ian Barber
Contributing Lecturer: Professor Richard Walter

Paper Structure
Primary themes:
  • Archaeology of the first New Zealanders, including the emergence of Indigenous Māori and Moriori peoples across varied and changing island landscapes
  • Archaeology of Māori, Pākehā and other immigrant groups from the late eighteenth century
Teaching Arrangements
Taught lectures, laboratories.
  • Furey, L. & Holdaway, S. (ed.) 2004. Change Through Time: 50 years of New Zealand Archaeology. NZAA Monograph 26.
  • Campbell, M., Holdaway S.J. & Macready S. (ed.) 2013. Finding our Recent Past: Historical Archaeology in New Zealand. Auckland: NZAA Monograph 29.
Course outline

Will be available on Blackboard at the beginning of the course.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Cultural understanding, Ethics, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Gain subject knowledge of core issues and case studies in New Zealand archaeology
  • Improved understanding of the processes, impacts, interactions and identities associated with the human colonisation of New Zealand
  • New appreciation and understanding of current specialist analysis in New Zealand archaeological research

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system

Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22
Friday 10:00-10:50 9-12, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 15:00-16:50 11, 13, 18, 20
A2 Wednesday 13:00-14:50 11, 13, 18, 20