New Zealand Archaeology

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    New Zealand Archaeology

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    18 200-Level ANTH or ARCH points

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    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 M?ori, 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 M?ori culture, society and economy, the emergence of a distinctive P?keh? culture during the first half of the 19th century, and the post-1860s development of Kiwi culture that incorporates the gradually transforming traditions of M?ori, P?keh? and other immigrant groups.

    Teaching Arrangements
    Taught lectures, laboratories.

    Course Structure
    Primary themes:
    - Archaeology of the first New Zealanders, including the emergence of Indigenous M?ori and Moriori peoples across varied and changing island landscapes
    - Archaeology of M?ori, P?keh? and other immigrant groups from the late eighteenth century

    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

    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 Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.