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New Archaeology academic excited to bring skills to Otago

Friday 3 June 2022 9:46pm

Arch zac 882

New Archaeology programme lecturer Zac McIvor studied archaeology at the University of Auckland, where he was involved in research projects across the Pacific.

He has developed his skills in geospatial analysis and cartography, fieldwork and heritage management through roles as a consultant archaeologist and Regional Archaeologist at Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

These roles have led him to be involved in managing the archaeological excavation of one of Aotearoa's earliest settler shipwrecks; nohoanga (occupation sites) of early Oceanic voyager arrivals to Aotearoa; and 17th century Waikato horticultural complexes.

He has also worked with kaitiaki ā-hapū (local guardians) to relocate buried koiwi tangata (human remains) exposed during storm events and research wāhi tapu (sacred places) for government registers.

Zac is completing his doctoral thesis in Te Pua Wānanga Ki Te Ao (Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies) at the University of Waikato. He is part of a multi-disciplinary Marsden funded project focussing on the development of pā tawhito (Māori fortified places) in the Waikato.

Zac's aim is to demonstrate an example of how “we may interface archaeological information with Mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge) to generate new information about the past.”

His research has involved research wānanga (interviews) with kanohi ora (living descendants) to understand their relationships to pā in their areas. Using extensive archival material stemming from the nineteenth century, Zac has also applied new computational methods that relate kōrero tuku iho (oral traditions) to archaeological information in time and space.

Zac says he’s excited to contribute to the University of Otago's archaeological research and study program.