Podcast: Aotearoa Unearthed—Archaeology for Everyone

Aotearoa Unearthed: Archaeology for Everyone is a podcast produced in partnership with the New Zealand Archaeology Association.

Episode 1

Toilets and drains in colonial Christchurch

On the first episode of Aotearoa Unearthed, Rosemary Baird talks to Katharine Watson about excavating long drops, drains and rubbish pits in Christchurch. What can her findings tell us about the public health, housing design and personal habits of colonial settlers? And do long-drop excavations smell?


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Episode 2

Archaeological landscapes through a Māori lens

Rosemary talks to Makere Rika-Heke about how we can use all our senses in archaeological landscape to tap into how Māori inhabited their whenua. Makere shares about how she combines tikanga with archaeology, and her dreams for indigenous archaeology in Aotearoa.


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Episode 3

The Southern Cemeteries Project

Rosemary talks to Hallie Buckley and Peter Petchey about the Southern Cemeteries project in Otago/Southland. Consulting with communities to excavate local cemeteries is just the starting point. Excavations are adventures in wild weather and unexpected discoveries. Hallie explains what an individual’s bones can tell us about the harsh lives of goldminers. Peter shares about Victorian coffin furniture and the unique elements found in Chinese sojourners’ graves.


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Episode 4

Repatriating our ancestors

Rosemary talks with Amber Aranui about her work repatriating Māori ancestors home to their iwi/hapu in Aotearoa from overseas institutions. Amber shares about the research and relationships that make this work possible. How does her work fit into the international movement to redress a colonial past of wrongful acquisition?


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Episode 5

Dunedin’s shoreline reclamation archaeology

Rosemary talks with Matthew Schmidt about archaeology found in the infilled Dunedin shoreline. Large areas of modern Dunedin are built on a colonial cap of infilled rubbish. What do archaeologists discover when excavating the infill, and what can it tell us Dunedin’s former identity as the wealthy gold-rush capital of colonial New Zealand?


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Episode 6

Māori rock art

Rosemary talks to Gerard O’Regan and Amanda Symon about Māori rock art. Gerard explains the wider context of Māori rock art: how much is there, where is it, how was it made and what does it mean? Amanda shares her experiences conserving rock art, and how ecological restoration can preserve the limestone ecosystems of Māori rock art sites.


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Episode 7

Children’s artefacts from Christchurch

Rosemary talks to Jessie Garland about some of the incredible artefacts she found in post-quake Christchurch that belonged to colonial children. What do these items tell us about how kids played and behaved in the past? Jessie also gives us insight into how she pieces together and researches broken or unidentified artefacts.


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Episode 8

Protecting New Zealand’s archaeology

Rosemary talks to Vanessa Tanner about how archaeology is protected in New Zealand. Did you know that damaging an archaeological site in this country is illegal? Vanessa explains why New Zealand archaeology is so unique and precious, and what Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga does to monitor site damage.


Episode 9

Investigating and dating Waikato Wetland Pā

Rosemary talks to six members of the team working on a multidisciplinary project to investigate Waikato wetland pā: Alan Hogg, Warren Gumbley, Tom Roa, Gretchen Boswijk, Rowan McBride and Isaac McIvor. They share how archaeology, dendrochronology, radiocarbon wiggle match dating and mātauranga Māori come together in this project and reveal new insights into Waikato pā built by Tainui iwi.


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Episode 10

World War II in Northland

Rosemary talks to four Northlanders who used archaeological research and investigation techniques to piece together a picture of ‘Fortress Northland’; a staggering network of defence infrastructure which was constructed in panicked haste following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941. Jack Kemp, Bill Guthrie, Bill Edwards and James Robinson share tales of what they discovered through archaeological investigations, oral history interviews, and detective work in the archives.


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Episode 11

Maritime archaeology in New Zealand

Rosemary talks to Dr Kurt Bennett, about his path to becoming a maritime archaeologist. Kurt outlines the history and current state of underwater archaeology in New Zealand, and why it’s so important to understand our maritime heritage. Kurt also shares stories of incredible exploratory dives in Fiordland shipwrecks and talks about the skills required for maritime archaeology.


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Episode 12

Citizen science and the HMS Buffalo re-examination project

Rosemary talks to Dr Kurt Bennett about his role in the HMS Buffalo wreck re-examination project.

Professional maritime archaeologists trained recreational divers to conduct fieldwork on the shipwreck in Mercury Bay. Public talks, museum exhibits, educational programmes, and collaboration with Ngāti Hei all led to wider community knowledge about the HMS Buffalo. The project won the New Zealand Archaeology Association’s Public Archaeology Award in 2022.


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Episode 13

Archaeology and cultural monitoring on the NCTIR project after the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake

Rosemary talks to Darran Kerei-Keepa and Dr Jeremy Habberfield-Short about their experiences in cultural monitoring and archaeology as part of the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) project after the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake.


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Episode 14

Researching Māori Archaeological Textiles

Rosemary talks to Lisa McKendry about her PhD study on fragments of Māori textiles and weaving recovered from archaeological sites. Lisa shares what she has discovered and how her own weaving practice supports her research.

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Episode 15

Creating the Ōtautahi Christchurch Archaeological Archive

Rosemary talks to Dr Katharine Watson about the ambitious project to create a publicly accessible archive and database that will hold all the material recovered from archaeological sites in and around Christchurch since the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

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Episode 16

Archaeology Activities for Kids

Rosemary talks to Rebecca Cox, Manager of Mercury Bay Museum, about her experiences running archaeological activities for kids at the museum and local schools. 

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