Sutton, D. G., Flenley, J. R., Li, X., Todd, A., Butler, K., Summers, R., & Chester, P. I. (2008). The timing of the human discovery and colonization of New Zealand. Quaternary International, 184(1), 109-121.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8321
In discriminating between the proposed Long, Short and Intermediate Chronologies for New Zealand prehistory, archaeologists have recently voted by a narrow majority that the human commensal, Rattus exulans, was present in New Zealand up to 2000 years BP, although the preferred date of ‘first settlement’ by people was ca 800 years BP. A recalibration of New Zealand chronometric data has resulted in reinterpretations of the date and duration of occupation on critical archaeological sites. A remodelling of the ages of the putatively earliest sites in New Zealand has shown these to indicate only a broadly defined period when settlement occurred rather than the date when New Zealand was discovered (as the Short Chronology advocates have insisted). Finally, comparisons with archaeological research on islands elsewhere in the world have brought with them recognition that the discovery, exploration, initial settlement and colonization of New Zealand by Polynesian voyagers were broadly consecutive processes. This paper reviews a range of current evidence in the context of its current theorization and affirms the Long Chronology, recognizing it as the most plausible hypothesis.