Radiocarbon dating new zealand

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This age has several important implications; firstly rat predation only began after 1280 which is much shorter period than previously implied and makes the risk to currently declining populations of rat-sensitive species more pressing as they could be diminishing faster than previously assumed.Secondly, colonisation did not involve a protracted delay between initial discovery and subsequent colonisation, an idea implicit in earlier theories.The bite marks from rat incisors are well preserved in these seeds which were radiocarbon dated. Image - J Wilmshurst Searching for gnawed seeds is a time consuming and laborious task, a little like looking for a needle in a haystack.Janet Wilmshurst and Tom Higham looked for sites with peat deposits drained by farmers, exposing sections which could be searched by coring and by digging test pits.The first people arriving in New Zealand from tropical East Polynesia initiated an immediate and rapid transformation.

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The pacific rat (kiore) spread with voyaging humans; therefore, its earliest presence in New Zealand indicates initial human contact.It also allows the human settlement of New Zealand to be placed more accurately in the context of the broader settlement pattern of East Polynesia.Dr Wilmshurst and her colleagues are now turning their attention to other islands in East Polynesia where similar controversies exist over the timing of initial human settlement.Dr Wilmshurst and her team researchers re-excavated and re-dated bones from nearly all of the previously investigated sites.All of their new radiocarbon dates on kiore bones are no older than 1280 AD.

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