Buller and Heaphy : a social interpretation of two archaic West Coast settlements
Bowron-Muth, Sreymony Phal
This thesis investigates the material culture assemblage and spatial patterning of two Archaic sites on the West Coast of the South Island - Buller River Mouth (K29/8) and Heaphy River Mouth (L26/1). Two key themes are explored in this thesis. The first theme argues that New Zealand archaeology can benefit from ideas and discussions from social anthropology. The second theme investigates the concept of space in both archaeology and social anthropology, and uses this as a medium to explore how links can be made between the two sub-disciplines. The analysis of material culture showed that Buller and Heaphy are both artefactualy representative of the Archaic Phase of New Zealand prehistory. Both have a large and varied artefact assemblage containing adzes, flakes, blades, hammer stones, minnow lures, drill points and other artefact types. The intra-site spatial analysis demonstrated areas of concentrated fire features, cooking areas, pavement areas, possible domestic buildings, stone working activity areas, adze caches, areas of oven rake out, specialized stone material manufacturing floors. With three exceptions, both Buller and Heaphy share features and activity areas that were common with each other. This thesis argues that New Zealand archaeology can benefit by using ideas from social anthropology, and demonstrates how this can be done by interpreting the artefactual and spatial results in light of some ideas from social anthropology. The interpretation focused on three key ideas: 1) The social construction of space, 2) Ian Hodder's concept of Domus, Agrios and Faris and 3) Levi-Strauss notions of societes à maison or house societies. The resulting discussion illustrates how a rich series of overlaying contextual interpretations can be an effective approach to understanding and interpreting New Zealand archaeology.
Advisor: Walter, Richard; Thomas, Tim
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Archaeology
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis