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Connecting across the Pacific.

I was invited to attend a conference for 40 specialists (including students) who work on Central East Polynesian research -particularly in French Polynesia by the CIRAP (International Centre for Polynesian Archaeological Research) at the University of French Polynesia.

I presented my research on the Māori dog in Aotearoa, New Zealand in the larger zooarchaeology session which is featured below. You may notice we have a translator in this session and all the sessions at this conference which was fantastic! All the English presentations were translated into French and vice versa. The focus of this conference was to connect experienced academics and professionals and training students in the field and address as a group, some of the pressing matters today including climate change, extinction, heritage management, and the future of our field.

It was an incredible opportunity to be in the same room as so many leading professionals in the field of Pacific Archaeology as well as other graduate students like myself who were working in zooarchaeology and other fields. I had a great time connecting with new professionals and seeing how another archaeology department facilitates their research. I always enjoy checking out the laboratory and working space on different campuses and this was a great chance to see and learn about what our colleagues have been working on and their methods as well. I think it is important to share our methods where possible to better improve and learn different ways of thinking and approaching a problem.

I had the chance to explore the beautiful Papeete Sunday Markets and see some freshly caught Parrot fish (Scardiae) - check out the stunning colours pictured below! I also visited some beautiful Marae site with our CIRAP team who gave us a very special tour about the cultural management and restoration efforts including the use of 3D geospatial tools to further document heritage in the area.

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