Ancient Maori oven discovered during weed search

Department of Conservation ranger discovered an ancient Maori oven while searching for weeds in Mason Bay on Stewart Island, the third-largest island of New Zealand.

The ranger posing at the site (by Department of Conservation via Stuff)

The find was made during a survey of the area by a ranger that was experienced and familiar with archaeological sites. The remains of the oven consisted of scattered shells and bones that eroded out from under the sand. Most of the Stewart Island coast had various periods of early Polynesian and Maori occupation and there were many sites similar to the oven discovered. Most of them consist of scatters of shells  or fish and bird bones. Many of them eroded out of the sand but others still remain beneath it. According to the experts these sites reflect frequent visits by small to medium groups of people to gather the rich resources of the area, or on their way further south to do the same. The site will be recorded in the national Archaeological Site Recording Scheme.

(after Stuff & Department of Conservation)

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