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Bones, trowels, and academia

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

I'm a doctoral researcher in Anthropology, Te Puna Mārama Scool of Social Sciences and passionate about sharing the importance of archaeology in Aotearoa and in the Pacific region. Pacific archaeology is my main area of research more specifically Central East Polynesia because the Pacific is a huge region filled with a diverse history and amazing cultures.

I chose postgraduate study to really specialize in zooarchaeology. The animal classes I have analysed throughout my training are shellfish, fish, and mammals, and now I am delving into the realm of birds. It is important to stress here that I focus on fauna largely in Aotearoa and also now East Polynesian fauna. Our close relationship with animals provides a window not only into past human diets but also how we have co-evolved with our furry companions through time and utilized different animals beyond food and rather as important parts of human cultural identity. We can learn a lot about environmental management through archaeological animal (faunal) remains. There are many existing excavated collections containing animal bone which hold a lot of information about the past that can also inform on our current conservation efforts. Some species are only now known through the archaeological record. Many of these collections exist in universities, museums and cultural heritage repositories. Because these animals also have connections to people in the past it is crucial to have appropriate permissions and maintain ongoing communication with communities that connect to these indviduals and also the organisations that care for these collections. Especially because we want to preserve information and the potential for new knowledge to be generated in the future.

Here is a snippet of some of my postgraduate experience in archaeology!

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