Archaic Phase Settlement Site

Kinloch Road, Dart River/Te Awa Wakatipu, Glenorchy

  • Archaic Phase Settlement Site.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand.
  • Archaic Phase Settlement Site.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand.
  • Archaic Phase Settlement Site. Plan.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5600 Date Entered 4th April 1984


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land comprised in Sec 3 SO 24940, Pt Sec 20 Blk I Dart SD (CT OT294144), Blk I Dart SD (Crown Land), Otago Land District and the archaeological site known as Archaic Phase Settlement Site (refer to Archaeological Site Land Title Form for further information).

City/District Council

Queenstown-Lakes District


Otago Region

Legal description

Sec 3 SO 24940 (CT OT294144), Pt Sec 20 Blk I Dart SD, Blk I Dart SD (Crown Land), Otago Land District

Location description

It is located between 350 and 400 metres downstream of the Dart Bridge, on the road to Kinloch on the western shore of Lake Wakatipu.


Setting: The site consists of a generally flat area of 2500 square metres lying between the Kinloch Road and the Dart River. Thickets of matagouri are scattered across the site, but it was formerly covered in beech forest.

Archaeological Features: The following features were visible in January 1981: two large raised-rim pits, another large pit associated with a low mount and several slight depressions; some four to seven areas of barely perceptible mound and depression features, and alignments of cobbles showing through the soil.

Supporting Evidence: Artefacts from the site, including worked nephrite, were presented to the Otago Museum in 1919. In 1967, D.R. Simmons carried out a survey of sites in the Upper Wakatipu area and undertook a small test excavation within the Dart Bridge site. He interpreted it as a greenstone workers’ village. Prompted by Simmons’ broad interpretation, and the recent loss of site material through river bank erosion, Anderson and Ritchie undertook a major excavation of the site in 1981. They concluded that it was a temporary Archaic phase settlement at which ti [cabbage tree] and moa cooking occurred, and where there was greenstone working on a modest scale as well as the manufacture of flake and blade implements of porcellanite and silcrete. Two areas of stone paving are associated with lithic scatters from tool production. Radiocarbon dates suggest two periods of occupation c AD 1200 and c AD 1500.

Assessment: The site is a valuable source of information on interior Archaic subsistence economy. It has a proven association with the exploitation of the nearby Routeburn nephrite source. The stone paving is a rare but significant archaic feature. The site is believed to have considerable further excavation potential. The site is visually interesting to the casual visitor because of the numerous pit features. It. is in a picturesque situation easily accessible (50 metres) from the Kinloch road


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Public NZAA Number


Completion Date

15th April 1982

Report Written By

N. A. Ritchie

Information Sources

Anderson, 1989

Atholl Anderson, Prodigious Birds: Moas and moa-hunting in prehistoric New Zealand, Cambridge, 1989.

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

N. A. Ritchie, 'Head of Lake Wakatipu Archaeological Survey, 1975

New Zealand Archaeological Association (NZAA)

New Zealand Archaeological Association

Anderson, A.J and N.A. Ritchie, 'Excavations at the Dart Bridge Site', New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter, 1981, 24(1): 6-9; 'Archaeology and prehistory of the Upper Wakatipu Region, NZAA Newsletter, 1980, vol. 23(4), pp. 244-257; 'Radiocarbon dates for the Dart River Region', NZAA Newsletter, 1973, vol. 16, p. 175

Otago Museum

Otago Museum

D. R. Simmons, 'Excavations in the Glenorchy area', in Annual Report, Otago Museum, 1965-1966

Other Information

Information in this report is from the citation prepared for the NZHPT Archaeology Committee at the time of the registration.

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.