7 results for Anderson, Atholl

  • Codfish Island/Whenua Hou Archaeological Project: Preliminary Report

    Smith, Ian; Anderson, Atholl (2007-08)

    Report
    University of Otago

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  • Faunal extinction and human habitation in New Caledonia: Initial results and implications of new research at the Pindai Caves

    Anderson, Atholl; Sand, Christophe; Petchey, Fiona; Worthy, Trevor H. (2010)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Archaeological and palaeontological investigations occurred in 2003 at the Pindai Caves in New Caledonia, where remains of prehistoric settlement exist in conjunction with the richest fossil deposits found to date on Grand Terre. Among more than 45 bird taxa in our excavations at least 20 that are locally or globally extinct are represented at levels immediately below or within the era of human occupation. These include the giant megapode, Sylviornis sp., the flightless swamphen, Porphyrio kukuwiedei, and other rails, a kagu, pigeons, a large snipe, Coenocorypha sp., several taxa of owls, a nightjar, and an owlet-nightjar. Unresolved problems in dating and taphonomy, however, make it difficult to specify the strength of cultural associations and thus the extent to which human activities were responsible for extinctions or extirpations. We present the first radiocarbon dates upon Sylviornis bone, showing that, at least, the species survived into the late Holocene. Relatively frequent occurrence of Sylviornis bone in the cultural levels, coupled with a radiocarbon date on a bone sample of about 3000 calBP make a case for human contact.

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  • Radiocarbon dates on desiccated moa (Dinornithiformes) flesh from Inland Otago, New Zealand

    Anderson, Atholl; Rowe, Lucy; Petchey, Fiona; White, Moira (2010)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Remains of soft tissues from extinct moa (Dinornithiformes), mainly desiccated sinew, muscle, skin, and feathers have been recovered rather seldom but their distribution is distinctive. Of 22 records of such finds accumulated between 1864 and 1987, 15 came from inland Otago (Anderson 1989: 67–68, Table 5.2), west of Dunedin in the southern South Island. Most were found in the late nineteenth century (13 records) in rockshelters, clefts or alluvial sediments and were regarded at the time as evidence of the survival of moa up to about AD 1800 (Hutton and Coughtrey 1874a). Improbable as this latter point is, it has not been tested by radiocarbon dating until now. Our particular impetus to do so, however, arises in another way. It is from research, again largely within inland Otago, on Maori artefacts which have also been made from various other kinds of soft tissues (flax, grasses, dog skin, bird skin, feathers etc.). A series of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dates on these (Anderson et al., n.d.) shows that they are exclusively late, post-AD 1650, which begs the question of why the age range does not extend across the full prehistoric period, beginning about AD 1300.

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  • Stability in the South Pacific surface marine ¹⁴C reservoir over the last 750 years. Evidence from American Samoa, the southern Cook Islands and the Marquesas

    Petchey, Fiona; Allen, Melinda S.; Addison, David J.; Anderson, Atholl (2009)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Although minor climatic and sea-level changes have been documented for the South Pacific during the late Holocene, our understanding of the consequent impact of these changes on the marine ¹⁴C reservoir, and therefore the ¹⁴C content of shellfish, is limited. Ultimately, this has implications for documenting the chronology of human movement and adaptation in this region. In this paper we compare marine reservoir (ΔR) data obtained from tightly controlled archaeological proveniences with known-age, pre-AD 1950 shells from the southern Cook Islands, American Samoa, and Marquesas Islands. Results indicate that there has been no significant change in the near-shore marine reservoir in these three locations over the last ca. 750 years. Furthermore, known-age, pre-AD 1950 shell samples provide more precise ΔR values for use in sample calibration than archaeological paired shell/charcoal samples. This is attributed in part to the limitations of assigning provenance and age to material from archaeological sites. On the basis of these results we conclude that the known-age, pre-AD 1950 shell derived ΔR values can be used to calibrate shell ¹⁴C results from deposits of late Holocene age.

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  • The marine reservoir effect in the Southern Ocean: an evaluation of extant and new R values and their application to archaeological chronologies

    Petchey, Fiona; Anderson, Atholl; Hogg, Alan G.; Zondervan, Albert (2008)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    The last phase of human colonisation of the south-west Pacific occurred around the 12th Century AD amongst the islands of the subtropical and temperate zones of the Southern Ocean (i.e., Norfolk Island, the Kermadec Islands, New Zealand and the Chatham Islands) (Fig. 1). Archaeological evidence indicates that initial colonisation of the region was rapid, possibly taking less than 100 years. Unfortunately, the chronology of these events has been largely reliant on charcoal radiocarbon determinations that have not been successful in delineating these changes. This paper investigates the use of marine shell for radiocarbon dating as an alternative to charcoal, with specific focus on variation in the marine 14C reservoir (specifically the ∆R) of Raoul Island (Kermadec Islands), Norfolk Island and Chatham Island (Fig. 2). Results from known-age, pre-AD 1950 shellfish indicate that ∆R values south of the South Pacific Convergence Zone are low compared to those recorded for islands within the South Pacific generally (Fig. 1) (see Petchey et al.in press). An average ∆R value of –19 ± 13 14C yr is recorded for Raoul Island and –49 ± 10 14C yr for Norfolk Island. These values are attributed to heightened absorption of atmospheric CO2 in this region. Extant published ∆R information from New Zealand (Fig. 2A) also suggests a low average ∆R value for these southern waters, but the range of values indicates that considerable variability is possible because of the complex interplay of currents around the New Zealand coastline. In contrast, results from Chatham Island are more variable and much higher (average ∆R = 134 ± 83 14C yr). Stable oxygen and carbon isotope data support the hypothesis that these ∆R values are caused by upwelling and mixing of 14C-depleted water along the Chatham Rise. Comparison of marine and charcoal 14C determinations from archaeological sites on Raoul Island support, within the limits of the available data, the ∆R values obtained, but further analysis is required to establish the stability of this value over time.

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  • The first accurate and precise calendar dating of New Zealand Māori Pā, using Otāhau Pā as a case study.

    Hogg, Alan G.; Gumbley, Warren; Boswijk, Gretel; Petchey, Fiona; Southon, John R.; Anderson, Atholl; Roa, Tom; Donaldson, Lloyd A. (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    This research investigates the potential of radiocarbon wiggle-match dating of palisade posts to provide precise and accurate calendar ages for Māori pā (forts), using Otāhau Pā in the inland Waikato region, New Zealand, as a case study. Even though pā are a dominant element of the pre-European North Island archaeological landscape, they are poorly understood archaeologically, with systematic investigations hampered by the relative lack of precision in radiocarbon dating within the context of New Zealand’s comparatively short prehistory. Using the Southern Hemisphere calibration curve SHCal13, we determine wiggle-match calibrated ages for three palisade posts, using different sampling resolutions to determine the cost- effectiveness of the method. We also test the accuracy of the wiggle-match by obtaining new Southern Hemisphere calibration data from known calendar-age kauri.

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  • New Marine ΔR values for the South Pacific subtropical gyre region

    Petchey, Fiona; Anderson, Atholl; Zondervan, Albert; Ulm, Sean; Hogg, Alan G. (2008)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    This paper presents 31 new ΔR results of known-age, pre-AD 1950 shells from the South Pacific subtropical gyre region, spanning from the Tuamotu Archipelago in the east to New Caledonia in the west. This doubles the number of available ΔR values for the Oceania region. These values indicate that the regional offset (ΔR) from the modeled radiocarbon marine age has remained relatively constant over the last 100 yr prior to 1950. Variation from the norm can be attributed to various influences including localized upwelling around islands, the presence of a hardwater effect, direct ingestion of old carbon by the live shellfish, or enhanced exchange with atmospheric CO2 as a consequence of photosynthetic activity or increased aeration.

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