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Percy Smith, were based on genealogies and oral histories, many of which - when assigned an average generation length of 25 years - converged on a settlement date around 1350 AD while others appeared to go back much further.This resulted in the classic theory, which all schoolchildren were once taught, that New Zealand had been discovered around 750 AD then settled by later migrations, culminating in the "Great Fleet" of seven canoes around 1350 AD.However, evidence for continued communication between New Zealand and tropical Polynesia is absent in the archaeological record.The Māori did, however, maintained the technology for long sea voyages reaching the Chatham Islands in the 16th century.Against this emerging evidence for late settlement was some seemingly contradictory evidence from the first radiocarbon dating of ancient rat bones in 1996 which gave unusually early dates - as early as 10 AD - and led its author to suggest that rats had been brought here by early human voyagers who did not stay.Some scholars saw the early rat bone dates as confirmation of their theory that humans had settled in New Zealand even earlier than the classic theory had suggested, living in small numbers for a thousand years or so without leaving artefacts or skeletal remains However, further investigation found that those early rat bone results had been flawed, all coming from one laboratory during a limited time period, while all subsequent dating has found recent arrival times for both rats and humans.Some researchers now conclude that the weight of all the radiocarbon and DNA evidence points to New Zealand having been settled rapidly in a mass migration sometime after the Tarawera eruption, somewhere in the decades between 13 CE The debate over Māori population size has two main areas of interest, how many settlers came to New Zealand and what was the population when European contact occurred.The second number is partly an historical questions and estimated populations have not strayed far from Captain Cook's first estimate of 100,000, Māori culture has been in constant adaptation to New Zealand's changing environment.

Natural fires were rare in New Zealand, yet much of the country was covered in dry forest, early Māori didn't protect fire‐prone areas and there is no evidence of systematic burning of less fire‐prone ones.Systematical research was first conducted by the museums from the main cities, followed by anthropology departments in the universities of Auckland and Otago.In 1955 the New Zealand Archaeological Association was founded.Particularly in locations like the southern South Island where Classical tribes may migrate to regions where only an Archaic life was possible.Currently the Archaic culture is seen as semi nomadic hunter-gatherers with small gardens and populations, while the later Classical culture had large gardens and fortified permanent villages.

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