First New Zealanders 700 years ago?

This video from New Zealand is called Moa Footprints.

From ScienceDaily:

New Zealand‘s Colonization 1000 Years Later Than Previously Thought?

ScienceDaily (Jun. 4, 2008) — The dating project, in one of the largest studies of its kind, has shown that the country was not visited by humans over 2000 years ago, as some previous research suggests.

An international team of researchers, led by Dr Janet Wilmshurst from Landcare Research, spent 4 years on the project 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. Their results do not support previous radiocarbon dating of Pacific rat bones which implied a much earlier human contact about 200 BC.

The original old rat bones dates have been hotly debated ever since they were published in Nature in 1996. The ages are controversial because there is no supporting ecological or archaeological evidence for the presence of kiore or humans until 1280-1300 AD and the reliability of the bone dating has been questioned. This is the first time that the actual sites involved in the original study have been re-excavated and analyzed.

Dr Wilmshurst and her team researchers re-excavated and re-dated bones from nearly all of the previously investigated sites. All of their new radiocarbon dates on kiore bones are no older than 1280 AD. This is consistent with other evidence from the oldest dated archaeological sites, Maori whakapapa, widespread forest clearance by fire and a decline in the population of marine and land-based fauna.

“As the Pacific rat or kiore cannot swim very far, it can only have arrived in New Zealand with people on board their canoes, either as cargo or stowaways. Therefore, the earliest evidence of the Pacific rat in New Zealand must indicate the arrival of people” Dr Wilmshurst said.

Giant Bird Poo Records Pre-human New Zealand: here.

New Zealand tree has defence against extinct giant moa: here.

3 thoughts on “First New Zealanders 700 years ago?

  1. Pingback: New Zealand moa DNA research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: New Zealand eagles | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Extinct New Zealand adzebills, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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