Palmer Bruce

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Palmer, John Bruce 1923-1974

Bruce Palmer was a stalwart of Wellington archaeology in the 1950s and 60s from the position of lecturer in Polynesian studies at Wellington Teachers' College. He moved on from there to Director of the Fiji Museum where he undertook research himself, aided the research of many others as well as performing the management role there for ten years. Bruce returned to Auckland after a short period at the East-West centre in Hawiaii. He died suddenly in Auckland shortly after his return.

He served as co-editor of the Journal of the Polynesian Society and was President of the New Zealand Archaeological Association in 1958-59 and a council member before that.

His papers are in the Auckland Museum Library.


Bruce Biggs 1975 Asian Perspectives, XVIII(1), online

Roger Green 1974 Obituary: John Bruce Palmer, 1923-1974. JPS Volume 83, No. 4, p 459-460 online


JPS editorials, reviews and Fiji oriented publications can be seen listed in the Biggs obituary.

1956 Notes on Maori sites in eastern Wellington Harbour. JPS 65(4): 342-355.

1957a The Maori Kotaha. JPS 66(2): 175-191.

1958b Tattoo in transition. JPS 57: 387-393.

1959 Maori sites in Queen Charlotte Sound. NZAAN 2(4): 12-15.

1960 Wellington Teachers' College Archaeological Club. NZAAN 3(4):27.

1961 Some aspects of New Zealand field archaeology. JPS 70(4): 466-469.

1962 Clay pipe dating. NZAAN 5(3):192-193.

1963a Dating shell middens-a South Africa method for relative dating. NZAAN 6(2):112-114.

1963b Maori sites in Fitzroy. NZAAN 6(3):125-134.

1965a Maori arts and crafts. Oxford New Zealand Encyclopaedia, pp. 219-222. Wellington: Oxford University Press.

1965b Maori home life and recreation. Oxford New Zealand Encyclopaedia, pp. 226-229. Wellington: Oxford University Press.

1966a Maori religious movements. New Zealand Encyclopaedia, vol. 2, pp. 458-460. Wellington: Government Printer.

1966b Biographies of nine famous Maoris in history (Toi, Kupe, Topeora, Te Ua, Titokowaru, Te Mamaku, Te Puea, Te Whiti, Ratana). New Zealand Encyclopaedia. Wellington: Government Printer. These are online at