Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Human Remains Discovered at Pilot Bay, New Zealand

Thursday, October 17, 2013

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND—Three sets of human remains uncovered during the construction of a boardwalk at Pilot Bay have been identified as two Maori adults and one child by physical anthropologists from Auckland University. Pilot Bay was first occupied by Polynesian settlers in the late fourteenth century. “Often when they do developments it’s a little slice or piece, but it was nice because the boardwalk was going all the way down so it was good to see all the archaeology, all the way along,” said Rachel Darmody of Historic Places Trust. Archaeologists also recovered Moa bones, fish hooks, and debris from the manufacture of adzes. The human bones have been reburied by tangata whenua, a Maori term meaning the “people of the land.”