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Analysis of sediments and plant remains from the find-spot of a cache of Polynesian gardening tools at Ruakaka, northern New Zealand

by admin last modified 2005-10-01 03:54 AM

Horrocks M, Best SB, Byrami M. 2003. New Zealand Journal of Archaeology 23 (2001), 189-210.


We outline a record of sedimentology and fossil plant remains of a prehistoric archaeological site in a small valley at Ruakaka, northern New Zealand. The evidence provides a c. 850 year record of the sedimentation, hydrology and vegetation of this catchment, allowing the following deductions to be made:

1) the dramatically increased erosion rate of local hill slopes was a result of Polynesian deforestation by fire commencing at an estimated date of 700-550 14C yr B.P., and
2) the subsequent stabilisation of these hill slope soils occurred as a result of the establishment of European pasture in the catchment after c. A.D. 1800.


Pollen, sedimentology, deforestation, erosion, Ruakaka.

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