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Glossary

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archaeology
The study of things that people made, used, and left behind.

artefact
Objects discarded or lost by a previous human culture

biosecurity
Stop, limit, or manage the threat posed by the introduction of a pest or disease.

ecology
All about living things and how they interact with each other and their surroundings.

eradicate
Put an end to, get rid of.

indigenous
Originating and living or occurring naturally in an area.

kiore/Polynesian, Pacific rat (Rattus exulans)
The first rat species to arrive in New Zealand and they were brought here either deliberately or accidentally with the first human voyagers.

kōpiha/rua kūmara
Storage pit systems for growing and preserving kūmara crops.

midden
Place where food remains, ash and charcoal from fires, and broken or worn-out tools were thrown away.


Any Māori village or defensive settlement, but often refers to hillforts – fortified settlements with palisades and defensive terraces – and also to fortified villages.

pātaka
raised storehouse used to keep preserved food – fish, birds, kao (a kūmara preparation) – or seed safe from kiore in winter. Pātaka were entered through a trapdoor in the floor; the small opening at the front was a window.

radiocarbon dating
A method for finding the age of an object.

sanctuary
A place or area of land (or sea) where wildlife is protected.

sediment
Fine, mud-like substances

ship rat (Rattus rattus)
The most commonly found rat in New Zealand and is the smaller of the two European rat species (the other is called a Norway rat - Rattus norvegicus). It has a tail that is longer than its body, and ears that cover the eyes when pressed forward.