Mangahawea Bay Revisited: a reconsideration of the stratigraphy and chronology of site Q05/682


  • James Robinson Heritage New Zealand, Northland Regional Office
  • Andrew Blanchard Department of Conservation, Bay of Islands Office
  • Matutaera Te Nana Clendon Ngati Kuta, Pahu Keha
  • Justin Maxwell International Archaeological Research Institute, Guam
  • Nicholas Sutton Southern Pacific Archaeological Research, University of Otago
  • Richard Walter Archaeology, University of Otago


The Mangahawea Bay Site (Q05/682) on Moturua Island in the Bay of Islands was excavated in 1981. A single radiocarbon date from the lower levels returned an age of 1162-1439 AD (95.4% confidence) but the results of the excavation have never been fully reported. Despite some uncertainty about the age and nature of the stratigraphy, the site has long been regarded in the New Zealand archaeological community as a significant example of early occupation in the north. New excavations at Mangahawea Bay in 2017 have clarified the nature of the stratigraphy and provided a more reliable set of radiocarbon determinations. This recent work demonstrates that the site was first occupied for a short period in the early to mid-fourteenth century AD. Following abandonment of the first settlement there is evidence for ongoing, intermittent, activities in the Bay until historic times, but no further occupation at the site itself. These new results provide a foundation for future analysis of the substantial body of excavation material from the 1981 and 2017 excavations.




How to Cite

Robinson, J., Blanchard, A., Clendon, M. T. N., Maxwell, J., Sutton, N. and Walter, R. (2018) “Mangahawea Bay Revisited: a reconsideration of the stratigraphy and chronology of site Q05/682”, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 10(1), pp. 45–55. Available at: (Accessed: 22 June 2024).



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