Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM
RECONSTRUCTING PROTO-HISTORIC MĀORI LAND USE USING SPATIAL ANALYSIS VIA GOOGLE SKETCHUP, BANKS PENINSULA, NEW ZEALAND
High resolution spatial analysis of the Pa Bay archaeological sites in Banks Peninsula, New Zealand, suggests that Māori material culture and site selection was influenced by the environment. Pa Bay is believed to have been inhabited during New Zealand’s Late Protohistoric Period (1832-1850), a time when European settlers became more prominent throughout the South Island. Geographical Information Systems, Google SketchUp, aerial photography, and field observations are tools employed to accurately model historical infrastructure alongside landscape in a three-dimensional context. These tools provide in-depth spatial correlations with functionalities of the villages, cultivations, and fortifications in a site and regional perspective. Archaeological plans were georeferenced over aerial photographs, accurately pinpointing areas of interest within a three-dimensional palette. Three-dimensional models of infrastructure, including cultivation sites, houses, and fortifications, were created using Google SketchUp. Microclimate analysis through Google Earth and Google SketchUp were utilized to derive year-round sunlight distribution for areas of cultivation, highlighting Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) of horticultural site selection and practices. For Māori, Pa Bay was chosen for habitation as the landscape provided natural fortifications, adequate microclimatic conditions, and ideal slope orientation for kumara horticulture. The layout of the site suggests possible Māori interest in environmental conservation during a period of intensified deforestation in Banks Peninsula. Although Pa Bay is considered a post-European site, fortification, and settlement patterns reflect pre-European contact trends.