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Archaeological investigations at Maungarei: A large Mäori settlement on a volcanic cone in Auckland, New Zealand: Tuhinga 22

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Tuhinga 22: 19-100 ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Salvage excavations on the volcanic cone of Maungarei between 1960 and 1972 revealed a complex history of terrace construction and use, reflecting repeated occupations in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries AD. The crater rim was extensively modified in the eighteenth century, after which use of the site seems to have ceased. Occupation of the cone was probably prompted by the need for defence, but it appears that only the two high points of the rim were actually fortified. A major use of the terraces was for roofed storage pits for garden produce. Artefacts are typical of what is known of Auckland area material culture, showing reliance on local rocks of the Waipapa series for adzes, although obsidian was imported from five source areas. Food remains reflect a reliance on fish and shellfish for protein. Thepredominant fish catch was snapper, with a remarkable size range suggesting a variety of capture methods. Charcoal and mammal and bird identifications are described in specialist appendices. The charcoal and faunal remains show hat the local environment was already highly modified by Mäori when the northern slopes of Maungarei were occupied. Maungarei meets the criteria for a transient settlement. Although the Auckland volcanic cones are usually perceived as exceptionally large sites, with populations numbering in the thousands, it is argued that the population of Maungarei at any one time would have been no greater than the number that could take refuge in, and defend, the larger of the two citadel areas. KEYWORDS: Maungarei, volcanic cone, pä, transient village, faunal remains, material culture.

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