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Was "Rattus Exulans" in New Zealand 2000 Years Ago? AMS Radiocarbon Ages from Shag River Mouth

Atholl Anderson
Archaeology in Oceania
Vol. 31, No. 3, The Creation of Time. Ussher's 4004 BC and Beyond (Oct., 1996), pp. 178-184
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40387045
Page Count: 7
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Was "Rattus Exulans" in New Zealand 2000 Years Ago? AMS Radiocarbon Ages from Shag River Mouth
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Abstract

AMS radiocarbon determinations on the collagen of Rattus exulans bones from natural sites have been interpreted as evidence of human contact with New Zealand more than 2000 years ago. Some AMS determinations on Rattus exulans collagen products in archaeological samples from Shag River Mouth have yielded similar results, but these are very different from the radiocarbon chronology of the site established previously on multiple samples of different materials. Introduction of subfossil bone to the archaeological stratigraphy can be ruled out. This leaves questions about reservoir effects, and the ability of different pretreatment processes to remove sample contaminants of various kinds. The results do not support the argument that Rattus exulans reached New Zealand prior to the known existence of people by about AD 1100.

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