Kohika 2005


The field school was held at Site V15/80, Kohika in the Bay of Plenty near Whakatane for a period of two weeks from 30th January – 13th February 2005.

Kohika was a late Maori lake village in the Rangitaiki Plains, Bay of Plenty. It was occupied for a period in the latter half of the 17th century and unusually preserved because of its wetland location.

Abandoned because of flooding, Kohika remained untouched until 1974 when it was discovered during agricultural drainage. It was first investigated by members of the Whakatane and District Historical Society and then archaeologists from the University of Auckland took over the project. 


Excavation, conservation and analysis has been a 30-year task by a large number of scholars from different disciplines. The diversity of the evidence uncovered and the specialist analysis done on the material revealed extensive information about the social and domestic activities of a village community well before the advent of Europeans. 


Students who attended the 2005 Kohika Field School worked in the part of the site that was first investigated by the Historical Society. Participation involved an intensive introduction to excavation and recording, report writing and preliminary laboratory analysis. 


The 2005 Kohika Field School was lead by lecturer Prof Geoff Irwin, Technical Officer Dr Rod Wallance and tutor Dr Marianne Turner.