Late 19th Century colonial bird exploitation at Ruland Street,Wanganui, New Zealand

Stuart Hawkins, Warren Gumbley, Matthew Campbell

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Excavations were carried out on two sites within the historic New Zealand town of Wanganui. Both sites were occupied during the 1850s up to the present, but they diff er in their settlement nature during the 19th century where one was a Hotel and the other an urban residence and commercial business. Large numbers of animal bones, a small fraction of which were bird remains, were recovered from both sites, mostly from rubbish pits representing waste disposal. The analysis of these faunal remains provides an account of these early European settlers with regard to subsistence based decisions in a foreign environment. Clear diff erences in taxonomic relative abundances between the two sites denote clear diff erences in subsistence practices for each site which most likely relate to site function. Bird species exploited on both sites were dominated by introduced European fowl species with small amounts of other poultry species. However, bird remains were much more frequent and the range of species exploited much greater for the hotel assemblage, which included small amounts of wild native bird taxa from wetland, woodland and coastal environments. This research is compared with results from previous zooarchaeological studies within New Zealand focusing on establishing patterns of bird exploitation during the 19th century. Four main patterns of bird exploitation are identified.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBirds in Archaeology
    Editors W Prummel, Jorn t Zeiler and Dick C Brinkhuizen
    Place of PublicationGroningen
    ISBN (Print)9789077922774
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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