New Zealand Archaeology Week: What’s on

Department of Conservation —  26/04/2019

– Guest blog by the President of the New Zealand Archaeology Association, Katharine Watson.

Have you always wanted to be an archaeologist? Do you love learning about Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique and fascinating past? Well, have we got the opportunity for you!

Every year, the New Zealand Archaeological Association organises the New Zealand Archaeology Week (it’s actually a bit longer than a week, but who’s counting?!). During the week, which runs from 27 April-5 May this year, local groups organise events around the country. Most of these events are free, they’re open to the public (although some you need to book for) and they’re all about the great archaeology that’s carried out here in Aotearoa, and the way that archaeology can tell us so much more about our past.

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DOC workers at an archaeological dig site. 📷: Andrew Blanshard

North Island events

Up in Whangarei, you can go to a talk the canvasses the full range of Northland’s archaeology, from early Polynesian voyaging to World War II camps. In Auckland, you can learn all about the amazing rescue of the Daring before it was swept out to sea. Or, if you’re interested in a career in archaeology, you might want to head along to a talk by Auckland Council about what its really like to be an archaeologist. In Tauranga, the maritime theme continues, with talks about the French exploration of New Zealand, and still more talks (archaeologists like to talk…) about the history of Tauranga’s central business district.

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DOC workers at an archaeological dig site. 📷: Andrew Blanshard


If you’re in Wellington, well, you’re spoilt for choice, with an incredible range of events, including the chance to visit DOC’s own Matiu Somes Island on an archaeological tour – not one to be missed! You can also go and look inside an archaeological laboratory, or learn all about the archaeology of the home – at Premier House.

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Retired University of Otago Associate Professor Dr Ian Smith briefing staff. 📷: Andrew Blanshard

South Island events

In Kaikoura, you go and learn all about the archaeology of the area at Fyffe House. Meanwhile, in Christchurch, there’s a chance to visit the recently reopened – and Category 1 heritage building – Christchurch Town Hall, for a series of rapid-fire talks, all about hidden stories. Which is really what archaeology’s all about. Stories, that is. Hidden things, too, but mostly stories.

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Archaeologists at work on the site of The Music Centre, Christchurch. 📷: Kimberley Bone

Last but definitely not least, Dunedin, where there’s the chance to learn about how two heritage buildings were saved – and to learn more about the Fernery at Lanarch Castle.

These are just some of the fantastic events that will be happening during New Zealand Archaeology Week. Head on over to their website to learn more about these and the other events that are on. And remember, there are some that you need to book for, so get in quick!

And a big shout out to DOC for helping the New Zealand Archaeological Association promote Archaeology Week! Look forward to seeing you at an event!

3 responses to New Zealand Archaeology Week: What’s on

    Frances Rudland 28/04/2019 at 2:34 pm

    What’s on in Wellington ? And how do you book please?

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