Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Thames (NZ): Archaeology 'diggings' at The Thames

Professional terms such as 'Historian' and 'Archaeologist' are all too frequently used haphazardly by the keen amateur researcher. This can lead to people accepting information as 'gospel' when extensive fact checking and research may not have taken place.

The work of 'Historian's and 'Archaeologists' can help tell us more about the places where our relatives lived and what their daily lives were like.

We preciously looked at the wealth of archaeology reports that are available online at places such as  the Archaeological Reports Digital Library. One archaeologist who has multiple articles in these files is Dr Caroline Phillips - who has explored multiple sites around the town.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 25 September at the Thames War Memorial Civic Centre at 10.30am, Thamesites can attend a talk by Dr Caroline Phillips, Archaeologist.

Hope you can find to come along to this event that is organised by the Thames Continuing Education Group.

TITLE: "The Thames - Changes Through Time"

Door Charge: $3

Dr Caroline Phillips, Archaeologist & Researcher

Wednesday: 25 September 2019, 10.30am

Thames Hospital, Baillie Street. 
Dr Phillips carried out extensive field work when the hospital underwent major demolition and renovation projects.

Update 25 September 2019

There was a good turnout to hear Dr Phillips discuss " The Thames - Changes Through Time."

Dr Phillips started by showing drawings of what The Thames was like c1350. The land was different, covered with Kahikatea, swamps, but more importantly the shoreline was considerably further inland. In particular the Waihou River was considerably wider and there was an island north of Turua, which in Captain Cook's time he went up and down the river either side of. This information is in Dr Phillips book Waihou Journeys.

The geography of Captain Cook's map of the Firth of Thames (1), has changed when compared to present day maps. It was mentioned that while many Maori place names remain, the name for the gulf prior to Captain Cook's 1769 visit was Tikapa Moana. 

Dr Phillips outlined a few of the archaeology projects she had been involved with around Thames, and how her knowledge has grown allowing her to understand and interpret the findings at a given site examination. From Tararu to south the Kopu Bridge - along the Waihou River, have been the focus of her research. Sites discussed in depth were around Totara Palms, and the Pukehue Pa site at Kirikiri.

The closing portion of the talk dealt with Dr Phillips current work in the Bay of Plenty.

(1) Map: Cook Landmarks at 'The Thames' (New Zealand), November 1769
by Dave Wilton. The Treasury Journal