Best Simon

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Simon Best


Simon is one of New Zealand's most experienced archaeologists. He has over 30 years research and field experience in New Zealand and Pacific Islands archaeology (Over 130 projects).

An authority on both pre-European and historic periods in New Zealand, Simon is the author of numerous academic publications. His wrote a monograph called Lapita: A View from the East' which was published by the New Zealand Archaeological Association in 2002.

In 2013, his book Frontiers: A Colonial Dynasty was published.

Simon has also carried out numerous archaeological projects for the Department of Conservation, Historic Places Trust and others and has helped to run several University of Auckland field schools. (From Clough and Associates Ltd website)


Projects Directed

List in progress.. Auckland Region

Northland Region

Other areas in New Zealand

Pacific Region

  • Various in Fiji

Other Projects


1976. Hard rocks and the Classic adze. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 19(1):66-70

1976. The Cook Island connection. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 19(2):102-105

1976. Siliceous sinter and the early Maori. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 19(2):106-109

1976. Preliminary Archaeological Survey of Lakeba, Lau Group, Fiji. National Geographic Society Research Report 17:453-460

1977. The Maori adze: an explanation for change. Journal of the Polynesian Society 86:307-337

1977. Archaeological investigation on Lakeba, Lau Group, Fiji. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 20:28-38

1980, With M. J. Rowland. Survey and excavation on the Kedekede hill fort, Lakeba Islands, Lau Group, Fiji. Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania 15(1):29-50

1980. Oruarangi Pa: past and present investigation. New Zealand Journal of Archaeology 2:65-91

1982. Review of `Catalogue of Maori Artefacts in the Museums of Canada and the United States of America' by D R Simmons. Journal of the Polynesian Society 91(2):321-322

1987. Auckland's First Courthouse, Common Gaol and House of Correction (Site R11/1559): a preliminary report on the initial salvage excavation. New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Auckland.

1987. Long distance obsidian travel and possible implications for the settlement of Fiji. Archaeology in Oceania 22:27-31

1988. Here be Dragons. Journal of the Polynesian Society 97(3):239-259

1988. Tokelau archaeology: a preliminary report of an initial survey and excavations. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 8:104-118.

1988. With R. C. Green and R. Richards. Exotic type adzes from Tonga and Western Samoa. Archaeology in New Zealand 31(4):215-221).

1989. The First Gaol: Archaeology in the Central Business District of Auckland. in Unearthing New Zealand, Eds. M Trotter and B. McCulloch. Bookmakers Design and Production Ltd, Auckland.

1989. Lakeba: the prehistory of a Fijian island. University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, USA

1989. Archaeology of the Lapita Cultural Complex: a critical review. Archaeology in Oceania 24(3):116

1992. With R.C. Green, P. Sheppard and Parker. Necromancing the Stone: archaeologists and adzes in Samoa. Journal of the Polynesian Society 101(1):45-85

1992. Fortifications in Fiji and Samoa: Comparisons and Predictions. Archaeology in New Zealand 35(1):40-44.

1992. The Queen Street Gaol. Auckland's first Courthouse, Common Gaol and House of Correction. Final Archaeological Report. Auckland Conservancy Historic Resource Series No. 2.

1992. James Redfern's Brickworks and James Wright's Potteries (Q8/309 & Q8/310). New Zealand Historic Places Trust Report.

1993. The Whau Brickworks and Pottery: archaeological excavation of an early industrial ceramic site (R11/1509), on the Whau Peninsula, Auckland. Auckland Conservancy Historic Resource Series No. 7.

1993. The Queen of Streets: the distant past. New Zealand Geographic No. 17.

1993. At the Halls of the Mountain Kings. Samoan and Fijian Fortifications: Comparison and Analysis. Journal of the Polynesian Society 102(4):385-447.

1994. A short site survey in Western Samoa: Preliminary Results. Archaeology in New Zealand.

2002. Guns and Gods: the history and archaeology of Rewa's Pa, Kororareka. Northland Conservancy Historical Series No. 5. Department of Conservation, Northland Conservancy

2002. Lapita: a view from the east. New Zealand Archaeological Association Monograph No. 24.

2003. With M. Horrocks and M. Byrami. Analysis of sediments and plant remains from the find spot of a cache of Polynesian gardening tools at Ruakaka, Northern New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Archaeology23 (2001), 189-210.

2003. With M. Horrocks. Analysis of plant microfossils in early European latrine fills from Russell, Northern New Zealand. International Journal of Historical Archaeology.

2013. Frontiers: A Colonial Dynasty. Steele Roberts: Wellington.

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