Monthly Archives: April 2014

Archaeoseismology – earthquakes and culture change: a New Zealand perspective

Dr Bruce McFadgen, Victoria University of Wellington

RSNZ Manawatu Branch April 2014 meeting

7.30 pm Tuesday, 15 April, Te Manawa – Art Gallery, 326 Main Street, Palmerston North

Earthquakes have been in the news lately, Christchurch being most prominent. They have a long history of causing devastation to human communities, but what has been their long term effect? This talk will briefly cover some of the recent research and ideas about the effects of earthquakes on human physical and cultural development, including the development of civilisation. The effects of earthquakes on the Neolithic precursors of the ancient civilisations are thought to be important in the subsequent development of civilisation, and one Neolithic culture that might hold some clues is Pre-European Māori. This talk will consider some of the effects of earthquakes on Pre-European Māori communities, and how an understanding of culture change in Māori prehistory may provide some insights into the role of tectonic events in the development of civilisation.

Dr Bruce McFadgen is currently an Honorary Research Associate with the School of Māori Studies, Victoria University of Wellington. Formerly employed as a scientist in the Department of Conservation, he was also a J.D. Stout Fellow at Victoria University in 2003. During this time he wrote Hostile Shores: Catastrophic Events in Prehistoric New Zealand and their Impact on Maori Coastal Communities, published by AUP in 2007.

All warmly welcome