Mangahawea Dig Tuesday 7 January 2020


Follow the 2020 Mangahawea Dig with updates from our archaeologist Laura Dawson. Day two saw the digger on site to assist in a busy day opening trenches.

Rākaumangamanga titiro ki Rapa Nui
Rapa Nui titiro ki taputapu atea
Raiatea taputapuatea titiro ki rākaumangamanga
Rākaumangamanga titiro ki motu Rangiātea
Motu Rangiātea titiro ki Mangahawea, Moturua ka tau

Today was the first day of excavating here at Mangahawea Bay - and it was a busy one! Thankfully we had the digger on site to remove the turf from the trenches, a job that usually takes up a little time. We opened 4 trenches in total, named Areas 6, 7, 9 and 10. Areas 6 and 7 are in an alignment between the 2017 and 2018 excavation trenches, while 9 and 10 are slightly further inland. 

Digging and sieving continued all day, while all trenches made it past the disturbed first layer of sand. In Areas 9 and 10 the top layer was a mixed up agricultural soil, and had extra shell and fish bone included in it. They also had some small features, though without further excavation and analysis we won’t be able to tell what they are just yet.

Finds were not rapidly forthcoming, as we are only in the top layers - but we did find a possible tattooing chisel blank, and a musket ball. This tells us that top layer is possibly very intermixed! 

We were also very lucky to have a beautiful pod of orca pass by the bay today! They came in close, playing in the surf. Of course, everyone dropped what they were doing and ran to the shore to watch.

Tomorrow we will be moving down past the top layer in all 4 trenches, into some of the more intact archaeology. We are expecting many more features and finds, so stay tuned!

  • Mangahawea Dig

    The beginning of the Area 9 trench, with Cathy Barr, Russell Hook, Bill Edwards and Kipa Munro

  • Progress on the Mangahawea dig

    Areas 6 and 7 progress, with Matu Clendon, John Coster, Nicholas Hall and Bill Guthrie.

  • Work on the Mangahawea dig

    The beginning of Area 10, with Area 9 in the background