Aotearoa Unearthed: Archaeology for Everyone (Podcast)


Aotearoa Unearthed podcast available

Aotearoa Unearthed: Archaeology for Everyone is a new podcast by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, produced in partnership with the New Zealand Archaeological Association. 

Eight episodes are being released for Archaeology Week 2021 (April 24-May 2). Archaeology Week is run annually by the New Zealand Archaeological Association, to promote the archaeology of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The project began a year ago when Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Outreach Advisor, Rosemary Baird, started to dream about producing a podcast exploring archaeology. 

“I have always loved talking to archaeologists. They are passionate people and I always find their work stories fascinating,” she says.

Archaeology podcasts are popular overseas, but there are no New Zealand based archaeology podcasts. 

“This is a really exciting way for us to start sharing about New Zealand archaeologists’ incredible discoveries and work,” says Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Manager of Archaeology, Vanessa Tanner. 

“The podcast series provides an opportunity for everyone to learn how exciting New Zealand archaeology really is.”

The project has been particularly rewarding according to Rosemary. 

“All the archaeologists have been so generous with their time, and willing to explain things to me, a non-archaeologist. A highlight for me was recording Amber Aranui’s episode on the repatriation of kōiwi (Māori ancestral remains). It was confronting and sad, but also such a privilege to listen to her talk about her incredible work,” she says. 

Katharine Watson, former President of the New Zealand Archeological Association, is interviewed in the first episode on colonial drains – and is excited about the potential the podcasts have for educating people about the work of archaeologists.

“The NZAA is always looking for ways to share what we do with New Zealanders. This podcast is an easy way into understanding the variety of work we do on a daily basis,” she says. 

Aotearoa Unearthed Episode List

  1. Toilets and drains in colonial Christchurch: Katharine Watson
  2. Archaeological landscapes through a Māori lens: Makere Rika-Heke
  3. The Southern Cemeteries Project: Hallie Buckley and Peter Petchey
  4. Repatriating our ancestors: Amber Aranui
  5. Dunedin’s shoreline reclamation archaeology: Matthew Schmidt
  6. Māori rock art: Gerard O’Regan and Amanda Symon
  7. Children’s artefacts from Christchurch: Jessie Garland
  8. Protecting New Zealand’s archaeology: Vanessa Tanner

The podcast is available to download on Spotify and iTunes from 24 April 2021

Media Contacts:

NB - Rosemary Baird is available for interviews on Thursday April 23:

Email:; or Ph: 0272665307

Katharine Watson:; Ph 0276563985

If you wish to contact an individual archaeologist for a particular angle or focus on a regional episode, please contact Rosemary as most have agreed to talk to media and she can put you in touch.

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