Bream Bay Millenium Way
Millenium Way Excavations
From FINAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL REPORT to the NEW ZEALAND HISTORIC PLACES TRUST in fulfilment of conditions relating to AUTHORITY NO. 2006/186 MILLENNIUM WAY WAIPU SOUTH
<googlemap lat="-35.951886" lon="174.447098" zoom="11">-35.984639, 174.447217, Waipu, New Zealand</googlemap>
The results of excavation of the archaeological sites, particularly Q08/512, 513 and Q08/515 suggest relatively small living sites in the hinterland behind Waipu Cove.
The interesting element displayed by the middens found at these sites is the apparent targeting of pipi to bring back live to the inland sites. This was not particularly difficult but there may have been some reluctance to stay in the exposed beach area to process the shellfish and eliminate the weight of the shells. It is suggested by the dates that the sites were used during the 16th and 17th centuries AD. This is probably the expected date for the sites and in line with other projects in northern North Island. For example six dates from midden sites in ancient dune lands at One Tree Point (Bickler et al. 2007a, Phillips & Harlow 2001) which ranged from 1465 - 1685 and dates from Omaha Beach (Campbell et al. 2004, Bickler et al. 2003) which suggested use of the sandspit there from 1450AD onwards. The sites excavated here do not look like the more specialised shell processing sites at One Tree Point or at Omaha Sandspit but more like the small scale coast habitations below the ridges behind Waipu Cove (e.g., Harlow et al. 2006) and further southeast at Bream Tail (Bickler et al. 2007b). The information described here suggests only small family groups making temporary shelters on the hillside after successful fishing and shellfish gathering expeditions along the beach. Additional radiocarbon dates from the upper section of the midden would be required to establish whether these middens represented significantly later occupation of the same terraced areas or part of the original use of the site.