An Exploratory and integrative study of Māori kurī (Canis familiaris) at the NRD archaeological site in Aotearoa New Zealand

Authors

  • Robyn T. Kramer Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6487-9737
  • Karen Greig Southern Pacific Archaeological Research, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
  • Matthew Campbell CFG Heritage Ltd, 132 Symonds Street, Auckland 1024, New Zealand; Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
  • Patricia Pillay Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand; Te Pūnaha Matatini, Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems, the University of Auckland (host), Auckland, New Zealand https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4286-5657
  • Melinda Allen Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand; Te Pūnaha Matatini, Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems, the University of Auckland (host), Auckland, New Zealand https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5041-5106
  • Charlotte King Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2432-0714
  • Hallie Buckley Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1047-4288
  • Clément Bataille Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5, Canada https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8625-4658
  • Beatrice Hudson Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5690-0628
  • Stuart Hawkins Archaeology and Natural History, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8838-2856
  • David Barr Centre for Trace Element Analysis, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
  • Malcolm Reid Centre for Trace Element Analysis, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4129-0214
  • Claudine Stirling Centre for Trace Element Analysis, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9994-337X
  • Lisa Matisoo-Smith Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3500-8307
  • Rebecca Kinaston BioArch South, Waitati, 9085, New Zealand; Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia, 4222 https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7697-4950

Abstract

This multidisciplinary study analyzes kurī skeletal remains from the Northern Runway Development (NRD) archaeological site (AD 1400-1800) to develop an “osteo-history” and help us better understand 1) human-dog interactions; 2) the role kurī played in early Māori societies; and 3) to potentially use kurī as a proxy for human behavior at the site. We combine dental analysis with stable isotope analyses of bone and tooth dentine to investigate the kurī diet. Additionally, we use strontium isotope and mitogenomic analyses to explore the migration histories of the kurī and, by proxy, the humans they lived among at the NRD site during the late pre-contact period in Aotearoa. Through our exploratory investigation of the kurī skeletal remains, we found evidence of extensive interaction spheres with nearby and potentially distant communities. Furthermore, the kurī were healthy, demonstrated minimal tooth wear, and they subsisted heavily on a protein-rich, marine diet. This study demonstrates that variability is present in the origins, diet, health, and treatment of kurī at a single locality. Because of this, we believe it is important to include kurī in future archaeological investigations in Aotearoa to help build our foundational understanding of variability across sites and regions.

Published

02-08-2022

How to Cite

Kramer, R. T., Greig, K., Campbell, M., Pillay, P., Allen, M., King, C., Buckley, H., Bataille, C., Hudson, B., Hawkins, S., Barr, D., Reid, M., Stirling, C., Matisoo-Smith, L. and Kinaston, R. (2022) “An Exploratory and integrative study of Māori kurī (Canis familiaris) at the NRD archaeological site in Aotearoa New Zealand”, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 13(1). Available at: https://pacificarchaeology.org/index.php/journal/article/view/341 (Accessed: 10 December 2022).

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Articles