The Making of the Māori Middle Ages

Atholl Anderson


Literary and scientific narratives are often constructed in three parts, of which the task of the middle section is to make the beginning and the end satisfactorily consistent with each other. In this lecture I discuss some ideas about how that might be accomplished in relation to a middle or transitional phase of Māori archaeology, which I will take as dating about AD 1450-1650. Some of you might wonder whether this has not been done satisfactorily already, but I assure you that it has not. In fact, just as Medieval Europe was once seen as a dark age between the Classical era and its Renaissance, so the middle phase in Māori archaeology remains a shadowland between highlights of Polynesian colonisation and classic Māori culture.

Full Text: