New Zealand  
N.Z Archaeology New Zealand Archaeology Site..
Hamilton City Library My local Library.
Radiocarbon Dating

 Based at Waikato University



English Heritage The minders of the English Heritage
The Trust The National Trust for Scotland
Beamish An open air Museum. Great place to visit. But watch the swans
Fishbourne Roman Palace How the wealthy Romans lived in Britain
A guide to Stone rings The Stone rings of Britain and Europe
Grimes Graves Neolithic flint mines
Archaeology Forgeries All is not as it seemed
Antiquity of man A good starting point for the uninitiated
Doug Wellers Page A great page of links
Raiders of the Lost Ark The PDF file A tale of much daring do
The missing rattus Exulans story
Some would have us believe that the rat (Rattus exulans) (kiore) has been in New Zealand
some 800-1200 years before Maori settlement. 
This claim is based upon ? 16 ? unrelated sites. 
Had the Rattus exulans been in New Zealand for 800-1200 years previous 
to Maori settlement I'd expect more samples to be available. 
 Another claim made upon this 'evidence' is the extinction of 
some ground nesting birds pre Maori settlement. 
Extinctions occur without new or introduced predators. 
The predation rates and extinctions -since- the official Maori (and Rattus exulans) arrival
 date are well recorded and bring to mind 
that, had Rattus exulans been present 800-1200 years previously, 
those species would have not survived to Maori settlement date. 

What has been discovered (at Oxford) is that the supposedly inorganic
filters they (R N Holdaway & N R Bevan ) had been using to catch the collagen

for dating actually had an organic wetting compound made from old carbon (oil or coal).

It was contaminating samples making them too old
The smaller samples were the worst affected..
The contaminating agent was/is glycerin.
This is the humecant used in regenerated cellulose filter membranes
I have asked Dr. Bevan for her comments so I could post them here
Dr Nancy Bevan has denied this (the humicant pollution) in the sci.archaeology newsgroup 
Abstract A consensus has not been reached on the validity of 
“old” (pre-Polynesian settlement) 14C ages for Pacific rat bones from New Zealand.
The article then goes into shallow depths and makes the claim that Rattus exulans was introduced 
pre– Polynesian settlement
That Rattus exulans has been present in New Zealand 800-1200 years prior  to the Maori 
settlement of New Zealand..
Refutation 1
In 800-1200 years of old rat occupation of the two main landmasses of New Zealand 
we have only ‘16’ claimed samples of Rattus exulans preMaori settlement. 
Refutation 2
There are no 700 or 600 or 500 or 400 or 300 or 200 or 100 year pre-Maori            
settlement Rattus exulans samples tested and written up... 
Refutation 3
The sample (NZA – 6636) was recorded but not written up for 40 years
the collagen does not support the earlier date. 
Claimed but no links to the table of date,site and age
Holdaway (1996) asserted that sample NZA – 6636 as recovered from           
Hukanui #76 by J C Yaldwyn in 1959 is the one in the labelled matchbox !
Subsequent excavations at this site (Hukanui) do not support the claim ! 
No other rat bones were found.
The only rat bone taken from the site was a rat jaw bone (lower mandible).            
Another bone was evidently taken but it was not rat and was stored in            
the same container
The site was NOT photographed at the time. 
No drawings showing the location of the bone were made. 
No notes from the site were done and the only record was 
the label on the matchbox that contained the samples. 

There are no Old Rat dates reported since 1997.

The dates are exclusively reported by one Lab.
Waikato Radio Carbon Dating Laboratory based at Waikato University 
has  had no pre 1200AD Rattus exulans samples


Anderson A J
1996 Was Rattus exulans in New Zealand 2000 years ago.
Archaeology in Oceania : 31: 178-183

Differential reliability of C14 ages of rat bone gelatine in South Pacific history
Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand : 30: 243-261

Newsletter of the New Zealand Archaeological Society Association
3 : 28The Holdaway R N & Bevan N R articles are already referenced here J C
The matchbox the rat bone the Hukanui #76 excavations 1959
Archaeology in New Zealand 45: 118-129
June 2002 Archaeology in New Zealand Vol 45 No.2 page 118
September 2002 Archaeology in New Zealand Vol 45 No.3 page 216 A Anderson..


The PDF original

Pollution possibilities

Formaldhyde (NZA 6086) Carbonates. Canopy Effect.

Food chain reservoirs (2500 year old carbon). Mineral oil or (glycerin.)

Last Update 12/06/2008