Archaeology Week this year ran from the 23rd of April to the 1st of May; due to the uncertainties around covid restrictions it was decided to encourage as much online content as possible, in person events did occur provided the organisers felt it was safe and manageable to do so.
Events included online talks, community days, walks ‘n’ talks, specialist videos on social media, movie nights, gallery trails, a new podcast on Aotearoa Unearthed and a whole host of other online content seen through individual organisations social media outlets. In total there were twenty-five events which served to promote and enhance the understanding of archaeology in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Both Otago Museum and Auckland Museum were able to contribute significantly to Arch Week. Otago Museum hosted an archaeology discussion panel, three movie nights and gallery trail all of which were enjoyed by all. Whilst Auckland Museum hosted an extremely popular community day titled, ‘Become An Archaeologist for a Day’ and used hands on games and activities to encourage children and adults alike to think about archaeology in New Zealand. Katherine Mansfield House in Wellington also hosted a free community archaeology day (with limited numbers) which will also feature during next year’s Arch Week.
The three walks ‘n’ talks – one in Taranaki and two in Coromandel – were very well received and seem to demonstrate that everyone is missing these kinds of events. The combination of of a lovely walk with knowledgeable guides really hit the spot for those who were able to attend – even though the weather was occasionally disagreeable.
Perhaps one of the outstanding features of this years Arch Week was the online content, Mary O’Keeffe, Kevin Jones and Victoria Grouden presented talks on a wide range of topics including the pā of the Bay of Plenty and Victorian Newtown in Wellington. There was also a presentation on YouTube from Sarah Phear on the investigations prior to the Fort St upgrades in Auckland’s CBD. The New Zealand Archaeology Associations social media Coordinator, Patricia Pillay presented a number of short (and fascinating) specialist interviews with archaeological specialists from around the country highlighting the variety of work being done. These can still be viewed on the NZAA YouTube channel, in case you missed them. In addition, the Auckland Archaeological Society posted mini profiles of Auckland based archaeologists on their social media channels, giving faces to names.
Support from Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga was as ever much appreciated, particularly in the field of social media – Laura’s short videos (Instagram) on the world and rubbish of Ada Wells were well worth a watch. Thanks also go to Underground Overground, Hands On Tauranga, Auckland Heritage (Auckland Council) and Heritage Properties New Zealand all contributed and highlighted archaeology and archaeology week in New Zealand via their own social media platforms.
As always Arch Week requires a fair amount of people to give up their time to provide us with entertaining and informative content – Mary O’Keeffe, Kevin Jones, Josie Hagan, Victoria Grouden, David Wilton, Susanne Rawson (and the staff at HPFS Taranaki), Sarah Phear, Russel Skeet, Patricia Pillay, Ari Carrington, Dr Rebecca Kinatson, Yolanda Vogel, Jeremy Moyle, Dr Naomi Woods, Benjamin Jones, Matthew Barrett, The Auckland Archaeology Society, The Otago Museum, The Auckland Museum (Emma Ash, Louise Furey and Deirdre Harrison), Heritage New Zealand Pouere Taonga, Hands On Tauranga, Katherine Mansfield House and Garden, Kate Shepperd House, Jessie Garland, Rachael Egerton, Rebecca Ramsay (Auckland Council) and Rosemary Baird (Aotearoa Unearthed Podcast) – please stand and take a bow!
Ngā mihi nui ki a koe!
Here’s to 2023!
Toni-Maree – Archaeology Week Coordinator
- Sarah Phears talk on the Fort St upgrades
- New Zealand Archaeology Association YouTube channel
- Auckland Museum Archaeology Week videos
- Aotearoa Unearthed podcast on Spotify
Featured image credit: Kevin Jones