Story: When was New Zealand first settled?

Accelerator mass spectrometer, Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory

Accelerator mass spectrometer, Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory

In New Zealand there are two radiocarbon laboratories – the GNS Sciences’ Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory in Lower Hutt and the University of Waikato’s laboratory in Hamilton. For archaeologists, radiocarbon dating is the most widely used method of estimating the age of objects. It is a dating method used for objects containing carbon that are up to 50,000 years old. Accurate radiocarbon dating requires great expertise and technologically advanced equipment.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Melanie Lovell-Smith

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How to cite this page:

Geoff Irwin and Carl Walrond, 'When was New Zealand first settled? - Radiocarbon dating', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/3613/accelerator-mass-spectrometer-rafter-radiocarbon-laboratory (accessed 28 November 2021)

Story by Geoff Irwin and Carl Walrond, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 May 2016