Tauroa 2003


The 2003 field school was held at Tauroa Point which is located on the northwest coast of the North Island.


The Tauroa Point Prehistory Project was developed in response to concerns about on-going natural and cultural impacts to archaeological sites along this coast and the resulting loss of information on traditional Maori use of the region.

The goals of the Tauroa Point Prehistory Project were three-fold:

  • to gather information from sites that were under threat
  • to characterise people-environment relationships in this region during the period of Maori occupation
  • to place the Tauroa sites in their larger regional context.

The Tauroa Point research is important in part because little is known about the timing and nature of early Maori settlement in northern New Zealand.


The 2003 field work was designed with the dual goals of recovering information from archaeological features that were under threat while causing minimal damage.

We also wanted to expose students to a variety of archaeological techniques including:

  • digital mapping
  • surface collection
  • geophysical survey
  • excavation processes


The 2003 excavations were directed by Dr Melinda Allen, Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, with the assistance of associate field investigators, Dr Hans Bader, Geometria and Dr Rod Wallace, Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland.

For more information visit the web site of the Tauroa Point Prehistory Project and The University of Auckland 2003 Field School.