27 Jun 2009

Age of remains uncovered at airport site not known

3:33 pm on 27 June 2009

An Historic Places Trust archaeologist says no firm conclusions have been reached about human remains uncovered during earthworks for Auckland Airport runway extensions.

A newspaper report based on a document obtained under the Official Information Act said the 85 sets of koiwi reveal the people would have been generally healthy, with extremely worn teeth the most common ailment.

Bev Parslow told Waatea News the document was an interim report, and archaeologists are not even sure yet about the exact age of the pre-European remains.

Bones are not carbon-dated as the process would involve the destruction of human remains, she says. Instead dates are established using artefacts or other material relating to the burial.

Ms Parslow says the archaeologists are to consult with the Pukaki and Makaurau Marae communities before finalising their report.