Day off!

Student listen to discussion on wider landscape

Day 6 of the GMI project. By some small fortune I still haven’t been voted off the Island yet. This gloriously sunny Sunday marked the first half-day we have had during the excavation of our sites. Our work seemed to race past as we scraped the sandy layers back in spits to reach the red paleo-dune. In the space of 3 hours we managed to uncover an array of objects, including hoanga and fragmented adzes, as well as a variety of other stone artefacts, bones, and features. Both excavation sites were a hum of activity. Working on registry with Rebecca, we were inundated with bucket-loads of fire cracked rocks and water-rolled pebbles. These are analysed in the field as opposed to the University of Auckland lab, as this provides a broader context of their distribution as well as saving on resources. By the time that 11 o’ clock came around, we had all completed a substantial quantity of work.

Walking up Matakawau Pa

After arriving back at home-base, we prepared for our walk around previously excavated areas. These date back to Jack Golson’s excavation at Stingray Point Pā in the 1950s. We were nearly blown off the side of Matakawau Pā as the winds picked up. Louise Furey elaborately detailed the island’s history, pointing out visible features in the landscape in order to help us to differentiate between natural and cultural occurrences. As we investigated, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the island, and felt reinvigorated to continue our excavation. With so much history, I wonder what new mysteries we will find in the coming days.

~ Sophie

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