Archaeology is all about the discovery, recovery and interpretation of evidence of past human activity in its context in or above the ground, water or coastal marine area.
What is an archaeological site?
The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 defines an archaeological site as a place associated with pre-1900 human activity, where there is evidence relating to the history of Aotearoa New Zealand.
See the New Zealand Archaeological Association for more information about archaeological sites in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Types of archaeological sites
Examples of the range of gardening techniques used in Aotearoa before the arrival of Europeans, examples of which are still present today.
An introduction to the archaeological remains of a wide range of Aotearoa New Zealand's historic industries.
An introduction to middens and rubbish dumps, including what we can learn from them.
A shipwreck is a special kind of archaeological site as it is a time capsule representing the particular moment in history when the ship was lost.
Protection and management
Archaeological sites are irreplaceable parts of our heritage, and we encourage people to learn how best to protect and care for these taonga.
The protection and management of archaeological sites depends on the type of site, the environmental conditions and the land use.
Talk to your regional Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga archaeologist to find out more about protecting and managing archaeological material, including how best to protect sites on farmland, what types of vegetation to plant near a site and how to undertake harvest operations.
Wherever possible we advocate for the protection of these valuable sites, and we can help you incorporate and protect sites in your plans.
Find out more with our Protecting Archaeological Sites brochure.