Biographical Information

Geoff Irwin is professor of archaeology at the University of Auckland. He has carried out fieldwork in New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Indonesia and New Zealand. In the Pacific he has studied early migration, and the emergence of seaborne trading systems. He has sailed on traditional canoes and, on one occasion, took his own yacht through Island Melanesia, retracing the path of the Lapita archaeological culture that was ancestral to Polynesian and Maori. This experience, combined with computer simulation of voyaging, has informed his theories about the prehistoric exploration and settlement of the Pacific. In New Zealand he has studied the origins of Maori settlement and society focussing of the emergence of defended North Island landscapes dominated by pa. He has had a long interest in wetland archaeology and has undertaken research on the Kohika Lake Village in the Bay of Plenty.