Monday, May 11, 2009

Paul Moon condemns the Celtic New Zealand circle

I've commented elsewhere on this blog about the curiously ambivalent attitude that pseudo-historians like the members of the 'Celtic New Zealand' circle have toward serious scholars of the past. The likes of Martin Doutre and Kerry Bolton claim that a 'politically correct conspiracy' of academics, museum curators, and Department of Conservation archaeologists is working to suppress the truth about New Zealand's pre-history.

Yet the fearless opponents of this massive conspiracy are happy to seize upon any scrap of serious research which they can distort into 'evidence' for their own views about pre-history. The contradictions of the pseudo-historians' attitude can lead to obvious absurdities, like Kerry Bolton's claim that the Pouakani Report of the Waitangi Tribunal - that hated organisation of Maori radicals and PC academics - somehow recognised the existence of a tribe of 'white tangata whenua' in the central North Island.

AUT University Professor of History Paul Moon has been the target of both the scorn and praise of the pseudo-historians. Back in 2004 Moon participated in a tortuous dialogue with Ross Baker, the leader of the One New Zealand Foundation and a close friend of Martin Doutre. Baker and Doutre have both been drivers of the white Land Rover which has for years now shadowed the official Treaty 2 U roadshow as it travels the country. Baker and Doutre want to convince New Zealanders that the so-called 'Littlewood Treaty' - an inaccurate copy of the Treaty of Waitangi made by an aide to Governor Hobson - ought to be the foundation of New Zealand law. They are excited by the 'Littlewood Treaty' because its references to 'New Zealanders' and 'the ordinary people of New Zealand' seems to them like a repudiation of all forms of biculturalism.

In his admirably even-tempered e mails to Baker, Paul Moon attempted to explain why the Littlewood Treaty has had and can have no legal significance. It would be a funny sort of Treaty, Moon observed, which was never signed by the parties whose will it purported to represent. Moon tried to dampen the enthusiasm of Baker and co for the document by pointing out that the term 'New Zealanders' was used to refer only to Maori in 1840. Predictably enough, Moon's interlocutor soon moved from historiography to the far more comfortable terrain of conspiracy theory. When Moon stopped replying to his e mails, Ross Baker blamed not his own inability to engage in rational debate, but the machinations of sinister, shadowy forces:

Remember, you contacted me first I am only putting forward the evidence you asked for in reply to your emails. You can either agree with it or disagree with it but to pull the plug now can only mean two things:

1. You have been warned off like others.
2. The evidence presented cannot be disputed.

Paul Moon appears to have redeemed himself in the eyes of the pseudo-historians with the publication last year of This Horrid Practice, his study of cannibalism in New Zealand. Moon's book presents a series of written accounts of Maori cannibalism from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and then presents a general theory of the extent and meaning of cannibalism in pre-contact Maori society.

Because of its sensitive subject matter, This Horrid Practice quickly received extensive publicity in the media, and prompted angry responses from people who must scarcely have had time to read the book. As a complaint about This Horrid Practice reached the Human Rights Commission, Moon compared his detractors to Nazi book-burners. I have read Moon's book, and I think it is deeply problematic. All of the written accounts of Maori cannibalism that Moon uses are necessarily drawn from the period of early contact between the tangata whenua of Aotearoa and outsiders - a period of massive social and cultural change. It is very hard to see how anyone can generalise events of this unique period in New Zealand history into a picture of pre-contact Maori society. The inter-iwi Musket Wars which were such a feature of the early nineteenth century, for instance, often involved large-scale slavery, killing and cannibalism, but these conflicts would not have been possible without the technology and the economic system brought to Aotearoa from outside. The need for potatoes and other foods in growing cities like Port Nicholson, Dunedin, Sydney, and even San Francisco and the need of Maori to get muskets to defend themselves meant that many iwi seized new lands and put large numbers of slaves to work growing food for export. The scale and ferocity of the Musket Wars have to be explained with reference to the new world that Maori were entering in the early nineteenth century.

Another problem in This Horrid Practice concerns Moon's extensive references to the fledgling science of epigenetics, which considers whether human genes might be able to acquire 'memories' of the experiences of their human bearers. The vast majority of biologists believe that the experiences of individual humans cannot find their way into the genetic code that is passed down the generations. A handful of scientists, though, believe that experiences - experiences of great trauma, for instance - can affect the genetic code of an individual, and so have consequences for generations descended from that person. One small team of researchers has been studying children of Holocaust survivors, in order to test this hypothesis.

In This Horrid Practice, Paul Moon makes the very bold assumption that experiences of trauma can be 'remembered' by our genes, and then the equally bold assumption that centuries of inter-iwi warfare had made Maori an inherently traumatised, brutalised people, to whom slaughter and cannibalism were as natural as breathing. Moon goes so far as to suggest that the colonisation of Maori was a blessing, because it ended a relentless cycle of trauma and slaughter.

It is not difficult to see why This Horrid Practice has excited the admiration of Martin Doutre and other anti-Maori bigots. When Doutre authored his rambling article on New Zealand's supposed Celtic pre-history for the Franklin E Local last year he paid tribute to Moon, and advised his readers to turn to This Horrid Practice for 'more information' about the Celtic New Zealand thesis. But the gloomy treatment of pre-contact Maori society in Moon's book cannot fairly be turned into an endorsement of Doutre's bizarre ideas about the past. In my critique of Doutre's article, I pointed out that Moon's book offered no support at all to the notion that white people were the tangata whenua of New Zealand. I suggested that Doutre and the Franklin E Local owed the Professor an apology.

My comments infuriated Mykeljon Winckel, the editor of Franklin E Local. Winckel insisted that Paul Moon had approved Doutre's reference to his book; he also warned me that Moon would soon contact me to ask for an apology for my misrepresentation of his views. I e mailed Moon to ask him whether he was indeed in Winckel's and Doutre's corner, and received a rather pained reply. Moon told me that he had already e mailed Winckel to tell him that he had no sympathy for the views being promoted in Franklin E Local, and that Winckel had assured him that the magazine was not attempting to present This Horrid Practice as an endorsement of Martin Doutre's strange theories. Moon was not keen on my suggestion that he make a public statement distancing himself from the Celtic New Zealand circle, so as to remove all confusion about his views. 'I had a long entanglement with the One New Zealand Foundation over the so-called Littlewood Treaty', he wrote, and 'now wish to have no further involvement in any of their manifestations'.

Moon appears to have reconsidered his position, though, after the ridiculously indulgent treatment of Martin Doutre in the New Zealand Herald last week. Wayne Thompson's article on Doutre's attempt to save a set of 'Celtic' boulders from road-builders in Silverdale prompted an immediate and strong response from a number of quarters. One of the most eloquent critics of the Herald's decision to present Doutre as a credible 'researcher' was University of Auckland philosopher Matthew Dentith, who managed to get this letter into the paper last Thursday. The very next day the Herald's letters page included this epistle from Professor Paul Moon:

Your correspondent Matthew Dentith is right to be concerned about suggestions of a pre-Maori Celtic culture in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, the energetic promotion of these manifestly flawed theories has seen their currency grow and an increasing number of people preapred to accept them.

Martin Doutre, who has annointed himself as the chief proponent of these theories, does not adhere to standard historical techniques in his writings, and has only been able to reach his conclusions after turning his back on a vast quantity of reliable literature that would discredit his views.

Starved of the oxygen of publicity, the pre-Maori Celtic theory should soon be extinguished or, at the very least, confined to the lunatic fringe of history. Until then, a degree of vigilance - of the sort exercised by Mr Dentith - is the best antidote.

Professor Paul Moon,
AUT University

Although I think This Horrid Practice is a very flawed book, I can't agree with anyone who wants to complain about Paul Moon to the Human Rights Commission, or keep his tome out of universities. Unlike Martin Doutre or Kerry Bolton, Paul Moon is a serious scholar. Moon does not falsify his source material, or misrepresent the views of other scholars, or accuse his critics of participating in a vast conspiracy, or use his work to promote racism. This Horrid Practice can be part of a rational dialogue about our past in a way that the likes of Ancient Celtic New Zealand or 1421 cannot. I hope that Paul Moon's letter to the Herald has cleared the way for a more serious, if not more sympathetic, discussion of his views about cannibalism.


Anonymous Keri Hulme said...

Maps, do you know whether Paul Moon might've been using epigenetics in an Eriksonian sense as well? Or simply :) in 'the fledgling science' sense (I'm not sure whether it's even out of the egg yet...)

6:45 pm  
Blogger maps said...

I don't think he mentions Erikson, Keri. I'd never even heard of epigenetics, and had to google it to find out what Moon was getting so excited about. It is remarkable that he leans his arguments so heavily upon a research programme which is, as you mention, not even out of the egg. Excuse the mixed metaphor, but Moon really is putting all his historiographical eggs in one basket.

I think Moon's book will be taken apart when his fellow historians review it. Unfortunately, of course, the most sensationalist parts of the media always pass judgement on a controversial book long before the scholars get to chewing it over.

7:06 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

Hey all, just came across more of Doutre's ranting about the Silverdale boulders (the 'update' section at the end is most telling):

He seems to be taking potshots at the University of Auckland Anthropology department and Prof. Harry Allen, one of the senior and most distinguished archaeologists we have:

"The boulder is covered with ancient incising marks, including an arrow pointer head with a long alignment shaft, as seen centrally in this photo. Prof. Harry Allen and his associates just up the road haven't noticed or professionally (scientifically) commented (although invited to do so several years ago) on the ancient markings, nor compared them to similar straight-stroke, line-incised stones that can be found all over New Zealand. "

Doutre seems to be suffering from delusions of grandeur - he is of course the only one who can see the archaeological significance of these boulders, while the rest of us scramble around keeping busy with our conspiracies and being "PC". In reality, a trained archaeologist doesn't need to spend copious amounts of time analyzing boulders like these as Doutre suggests. All that is required is a quick casual glance to recognize that they are in fact just natural. Add to that the fact that Harry and the rest of the department are far too busy doing actual research and training graduates to bother with the claims of egotistical nut jobs like Doutre.

Here's another example of Doutre's verbal diarrhea:

" A proper archaeologist [like Doutre] would go over these boulders very carefully, take rubbings [no archaeologists take rubbings any more, that practice stopped before Doutre was born, nowadays we use some confangled contraption called a 'camera'], measure erosion of the incised marks due to weathering, compare the directions shown by the markings with the actual geography of Silverdale region, etc., etc., but that will never happen in the foreseeable future. As a very poor substitute for actual scientists [as opposed to Doutre], providing very sound and well researched reports for the New Zealand public, we now have a big gaggle of "naysayers" who discount any unwanted anomalies with "off-the-cuff" remarks devoid of any serious investigation. The public are expected to accept without question the unresearched conclusions of these social-engineer "experts" [hahaha] and anyone who doesn't roll over compliantly gets labeled a "conspiracy-nut", "racist", "neo-Nazi" or whatever it takes to discredit them [Doutre is of course all of the above, with the added value of having discredited himself]. The true scientific issue is never addressed, but the individual who raises it is attacked [perhaps next time Doutre should try asking an actual scientific question?]."

He finishes of with an attack on geologists in general and Bruce Haywood in particular:

"We're being subjected to "off the cuff" remarks by so-called experts ... like this one from Bruce Hayward:

'Geological Society spokesman Bruce Hayward said there was no mystery how the boulders got on the hill. He said they were 70 million years old and pushed up from the sea floor and the enclosing countryside eroded over time, leaving them exposed' (NZ Herald 6/5/09).

Well, first of all Bruce, they weren't exposed when found in 1971 [Doutre apparently thinks exposed in the laymens term is the same meaning as exposed in geological terms]. They were under a thin layer of humus and sitting on landwashed clays (probably including some tephra bands from various volcanic explosions)[this really has nothing to do with his claims]. Secondly, instead of trying to disarm us with unresearched and "off the top of your head" answers to very serious geological, archaeological and historical questions, please supply a detailed geological report, based upon soil and concretion composition samples from Silverdale Hill, which proves that the hill material was a suitable medium for the formation of concretions [Doutre is obviously an amazing geologist what with his complete lack of understanding of well researched geological processes - yes, that's right, the laws of physics don't change site to site! who would have thought!]. It's time for some hard science [thank god we have Doutre for that]."

Anyway, rant finished. Just had to get that off my chest.

9:54 am  
Blogger stephen said...

Apropos the epigenetics stuff: there is some evidence that this is true for physical things. Eg, the grandchildren of famine survivors are smaller, even if the parents' generation was consistently well-fed. Youngest sons of mothers with multiple sons are more likely to be gay, implying a maternal influence. So I wouldn't dismiss a hypothesis that behaviours can be transmitted in that way.

Also, "epigenetic" effects are precisely NOT genetic, in the sense that alteration takes place in the genes. Rather, the mechanism proposed is some other kind of chemical signal.

However, that seems a very profligate explanation to me. I would have thought a more parsimonious but adequate explanation for the transmission of cannibalism and violence is that it happens like many other behaviours, through culture, eduction, parental influence, etc.

Neither explanation implies that such problems would persist in an environment that doesn't foster them.

Certainly, reading Cook's accounts would leave you with the impression that the people he met were accustomed both to deprivation and violence. Hell, I've just been reading Ranginui Walker's history of Opotiki, and there are plenty of stories of matter of fact people-eating. Those accounts are pre-contact or at least pre-musket. So I'm not disposed to dismiss Moon's book out of hand, and I intend to read it sometime soon.

7:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Maps.

Paul Moon's book IS odd. It seems to be determinedly arguing something that has never been in question in this country. He gets very excited by several writers in other corners of the planet who claim cannibalism was a European slander against indigenous peoples.
It is true that most Pakeha supportive of Maori struggles have tended to avoid discussion of cannibalism as something that would make them look "anti-Maori". Anne Salmond is the exception that proves the rule. An honourable exception which really undermines the relevance of Moon's book, at least in the local context.
Maps, your own over-careful discussion of cannibalism seems to imply that it was the result of contact with Europeans, and, kind of, the fault of Europeans. No need to bear that particular colonial burden! There are plenty of others.
Stephen seems convinced that he needs to read Moon to answer your doubts about whether matter of fact 'people eating' occured. No need! Trust Ranginui Walker.


11:36 pm  
Anonymous Keri h said...

Without going further into the epigenetic stuff,(I do know a wee non-specialist bit about the subject) I'll comment on the cannabalism matter in 2 ways:

Kai Huaka feud: = "eat relations" = a rather famous series of vicious little battles between Kai Tahu relations because - yep, in this instance/set of instances, some of us did- (there were other causes as well - of course.)

Archaeological: there are numerous sites in the South where koiwi are found within umukai. It happened. It wasnt a huge overwhelming thing, but it definitely happened. And - so?

Paul Moon seems to be a devout Christian of some kind or the other - do scholars here know whether this might skew his research?

1:05 am  
Blogger maps said...

Hi Arihi,

I agree that Moon is tilting at windmills. I don't wish to deny for a moment the existence of cannibalism in pre-contact Maori society. What I'm against is using the Musket Wars as the basis for generalisations about pre-contact society.

8:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Moon is a strong foe of Catholicism. This influences his view of history.

'In England, the first shafts of common sense regarding Easter and Christmas started to shine through during the mid-17th century, when the Puritans (forerunners of today's Baptists and Congregationalists) had the good judgment to outlaw these celebrations - a move that had the support of arguably the most devout and enlightened Christian leader in England's history, Oliver Cromwell.

However, following the restoration of the monarchy, and under intense pressure from a newly muscular Anglican church, most Protestant denominations relapsed into celebrating Easter and Christmas, and in the process became more doctrinally impoverished for doing so.'

3:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Maps for that.
And thanks Anon. for this Paul Moon gem: Cromwell "arguably the most devout and enlightened Christian leader in England's history".
Mmm...and that would make Genghis Khan the most enlightened and devout Buddhist leader in Asia's history.

Ian Gentles, writing of the siege of Drogheda in Ireland in 1649: "According to official estimates there were 3100 soldiers in the town, of whom 2,800 were killed, as well as many inhabitants and every friar that could be found. The final toll may thus have been... 3,500 soldiers, civilians and clergy".[Gentles, Ian. The New Model Army - In England, Ireland and Scotland 1645-53, Blackwell Press, Oxford, 1994] but via Wikipedia. Those that were not killed, were sent as slaves to Barbados.

The commander of the forces responsible for this exercise in enlightened, Christian devotion? Oliver Cromwell.

Naa Airihi
(Not Iris, but Irish)

4:10 pm  
Blogger stephen said...

Stephen seems convinced that he needs to read Moon to answer your doubts about whether matter of fact 'people eating' occured.Oh, that's not why I intend to read it. In fact, maps' summary of the odd take on epigenetics disposes me to be more skeptical than otherwise. But you know, I feel I ought to read a book before expressing an opinion on it.

("I never read a book before reviewing it, it prejudices a man so.")

4:26 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Yes, given the contacts between the Irish and Maori movements that have resisted British imperialism -contacts symbolised by the miner in the Karangahake gorge who sold ammunition to Te Kooti and, when asked by the great guerrilla leader what his tribe was, replied
'Arihi' - Moon's apparent anti-Catholicism might indeed trouble his interpretation of New Zealand history!

6:26 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Re Cannibalism - when I studied Latin at school I read Julius Caesar and there were accounts by him we translated of "savages" [that is the "savages" were the precursors of those of us and those such as Doutre and his fellow Nastis who are now Europeans and supposedly "civilised"] - these were the various Germanic tribes in Northern Europe - now it is said Caesar in his turn - somewhat skewed his reports - but it is true that the British, Germans, and indeed Celts* and others; practiced various "barbaric" customs such as burning prisoners alive and so on - he also comments quite enthusiastically about the Druids and their ability to remember things without books - I remember that from my 6th Form Latin last studied in 1965 I think.

From this and other knowledge of history it can be safely assumed that all humans, of whatever "race" or culture, have practised cannibalism at some time. It is also pretty sure it wasn't a major activity of anyone - and the "savagery" of Maori and other peoples is not unique to them...

But the causes are not genetic as such - there is no transmission of traits of that kind via genetics - aggression or the "fight-flight" mechanism" is built into us - but not "warriorness" or cannibalism (!!) or whatever...we are all basically - in genetic terms - the same in the world.

* This stuff about "Celts" builds on misty Romantic notions that can lead one in fact to the (ultimately dangerous) Nazi "folk" ideas and ideals.

7:25 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

I for one fully agree with maps re: "What I'm against is using the Musket Wars as the basis for generalisations about pre-contact society".

While I have not yet had the chance to read Moon's book, I am very very wary of people using post-contact ethnography to make inferences into prehistory. As Maps points out, Maori society went through rapid changes during the contact period. This is the problem archaeologists have with some historians - some like to assume historical social and cultural organisation can be extended back to the prehistoric past, basically infering that social organisation and culture is static. The issue is that archaeologists study long term processes and patterns through material remains, and that many historians are not equiped to undertake such analysis or qualified to comment on prehistory without careful collaboration with archaeologists. While it is true that some modern ethnographies can be helpful as analogies for past behaviours, this data needs to be carefully scrutinised and aknowledged as only periphery data for archaeological considerations.

Again, having not read Moon's book I cannot really make comment as to whether he is this kind of Historian or has made these sorts of troublesome inferences. But, as Keri commented, cannibalism is not such a "forbidden" issue, at least not amoung archaeologists - there are many sites found with human remains in a consumption context. But, like Keri says, these are not at all representative of any "norm" in that it is not an overwhelming representation in the archaeological record. Indeed, prehistoric Maori culture seems to be rather a lot more dynamic than many give it credit for. Like she says, it really is a 'so what' kind of issue.

11:14 am  
Blogger Edward said...

That said, from what I can tell, Moon's book has recieved misdirected and somewhat unfair criticism based on thematic grounds rather than methodology. While having not read it yet, and being weary of the abovementioned issues with regards to history being inferred into prehistory (which indeed is something worthy of criticism based on methodology), I think maps is right to conclude that Moon's book should be open to more sympathetic criticisms than to those generated by media hype as some sort of fringe scholarship - something I very much doubt Moon could be lumped into and which better describes the works of Doutre et al.

12:35 pm  
Anonymous Joe J said...

I have been doing a lot of research on this subject of Celtic NZ for a few years now. And it does not take a professor to see that maybe Doutre is actually on to something here. for instance just do a simple google search on "Caucasian mummified remains in China" and it will bring up MANY sites of interest. Reminds me of the dried "Maori" red haired head. Since when have Pacific Islanders have red hair???. And how about the ancient map of Piri Reis map. This raises many questions too. And as i am a New Zealander of Maori decent, shouldn't i and many others know the proper truth about our ancestors? Why is everything hidden? And if you ask questions you get ridiculed and treated like a raciest. What are they trying to hide that is so bad? and if there isn't anything bad why all the secrets? How come no DNA testing is done on remains? all other countries around the world do it except for NZ. We just accept it as Maori and bury our heads in the sand. We should know the truth weather Doutre is right or wrong it doesn't matter. People where ridiculed in the Old days for new things they thought, and some burned at the stake. Now some of those things they were burned for we use. Take herbal medicine for instance, people of old though it was witch craft now we are using it in modern day. We are no different now except the burning comes in the forms of words from people with little or no knowledge on the subject of accent times. People say "if NZ was discovered before the Maori, how come theres no records of it" well maybe there where but they were destroyed at one stage? the cristians burned untold books and scrolls deemed "ungodly" We will never know. That is why we need DNA testing done and things not hidden from us. How come DOC and local IWI have hidden the results of the waipoua forest stone structures if it is nothing but an natural formation? these questions need to be answered! We shouldn't just do the usual NZer thing of accepting and letting people blind us with lies. Knowledge is power

7:11 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Nearly every claim you make is either wrong or irrelevant, Joe.
There is no conspiracy to prevent DNA tests on Maori: such tests have been done repeatedly, and have shown the Austronesian ancestry of the Maori, not the part-Caucasoid ancestry you'd expect if Doutre's claims that Maori interbred with Celts were true. There are quite high rates of red hair amongst the people of the Solomon Islands, which were in the Pacific the last time I checked, and lower rates amongst other groups. In no way is red hair unique to Celts. The fact that some Caucasoid groups were in Xinjiang - which is only arguably a part of China - hardly demonstrates they made it all the way to NZ, when they lacked the aquatechnology to get far off the coast of Europe. The Piri Reis map is likewise irrelevant - it shows parts of the Atlantic, not any land mass close to New Zealand. The Waipoua forest stone works are not a mystery - you can read about them in archaeological reports that are freely available.

Nothing is being hidden here, and the only people being ridiculed as bigots are by their own admission Holocaust deniers with a history of membership of racist groups. As a Maori how do you feel about Martin Doutre's long-time membership of and advocacy for the One NZ Foundation, a group whose leader Ross Baker uses the slogan 'Thank God I'm not a Maori'?

10:54 pm  
Anonymous Joe said...

Like many things about history, Celtic NZ is a THEORY based on his point of view of information he has gathered, which he is intiled to. If you look at most modern reaserch of history with little or no written accounts they are based on the THEORY of information gathered through dna testing, archeology and the peoples myths and legends.

This is from wikipedia "Aboriginal Australians, especially in the west-central parts of the continent, have a high frequency of natural blond-to-brown hair,[21][22] with as many as 90-100% of children having blond hair in some areas.[23] The trait among Indigenous Australians is primarily associated with children and women and the hair turns more often to a darker brown color, rather than black, as they age.[23] Blondness is also found in some other parts of the South Pacific such as the Solomon Islands Vanuatu and Fiji. Again there are higher incidences in children but here many adults too carry this indigenous blond mutation."
"Red hair of pathological origin Most red hair is caused by the MC1R gene and is non-pathological. However, in rare cases red hair can be associated with disease or genetic disorder:
* In cases of severe malnutrition, normally dark human hair may turn red or blonde. The condition, part of a syndrome known as kwashiorkor, is a sign of critical starvation caused chiefly by protein deficiency, and is common during periods of famine.
* One variety of albinism (Type 3, aka rufous albinism), sometimes seen in Africans and inhabitants of New Guinea, results in red hair and red-coloured skin.[38]
* Red hair is found on people lacking pro-opiomelanocortin.[38][39]"

I know red hair is not just a celt trait so according to the above information Solomon Islanders are more likely to have BLOND hair. And with the migration of modern people it probably more common.

Where can i view the results of the DNA testing done on maori? When i try and find information i can't. This to me, makes this information not freely available. Any other information i want i can generally get through a simple google search or going to the libary.

I pointed out the fact of Caucasian mummified remains in China were found, so maybe people who had no prevous knowlege of the fact may want to rethink what they have been taught. History is changeing everyday. History is only relevent at the time of writing. And that can be from biased point of view too.

I pointed out the Piri Reis map, once again to show people acient people had a far greater knowlege of the world than we a taught to belive. And the map is only HALF of what it was. Whos to say whats on the other half?

Where can i find the reports of Waipoua forest stone works? Once again i can't seem to find any. Maybe i haven't looked in the right places but this is why we need desucions on such facts, so the knowlege is easiy accessible without having to spend hours trolling through websites and paper work. Point me in the direction of the reports. I am willing to learn as i am very open minded.

I do not condone racist groups or Holocaust deniers and if Martin Doutre wants to belong to such groups that is his own choice.

I only like his THEORY on celt nz because it is different and makes me think about how acceint people may have once been here. It is kind of close minded to think that NZ wasn't discovered before the maori. Yes maybe the celts didn't have good aquatechnology but the vikings and Spanish did. They could have been here? i have come accross reports that the spanish did vist NZ. what about that dutch skull they found near Featerston? I know it could have been someones collector piece but it still opens up a world of many questions And what about the Kumara? How did it get to the pacific from South America? People have been traveling around this world since the dawn of man. Look at the facts of migation out of africa. If they didn't what to expore whats beond their known world we would'nt be here like we are today would we?

8:21 am  
Blogger maps said...


you keep making points which have no relevance to the case against the Celtic NZ thesis. Doutre et al claim that several thousand years ago a very large technologically advanced Celtic civilisation existed in NZ, and that hundreds of years ago it was somehow wiped out a by a few Maori who raped the Celtic women. If the thesis were true we woudl expect to find:

huge archaeological sites underneath the ash the Taupo eruptions spread across much of NZ

huge numbers of Caucasoid skeletons buried all over the country

evidence of the disturbance of forest - preserved pollen seeds bitten by rats, signs of the burn off of forests - well before 1100 AD

DNA links between contemporary Maori and European populations

We find none of these things. The skull found in the Wairarapa, the possibility of Spanish visits, the fifteenth century map of the Atlantic - all of these may or may not be interesting (I have blogged about the skull, about which I have an open mind - see the post 'Rongotute: more than a story?'), but they are irrelevant to the Celtic NZ thesis.

I'm going to the Auckland uni tomorrow so I'll hunt down the report on Waipoua forest for you - send me an email and I'll send you a copy. The series of DNA tests on Maori which have shown a genetic trail leading back to the coast of south Asia about five thousand years ago have been widely reported in the media - do a google search.

9:33 am  
Anonymous joe said...

I will email you. I have done google searches but what i am after is the acutal reports not the media reports. I have found the dna tests but what i want to know is the full details behind the reseach. example who did they do the dna tests on? Pre european settlement maori or post? they just say maori. this to me is relivent. Most dna tests state if they are done on remains or on living people. Most information i find just state maori. In this country we have a thing called free speach and if you dont like people adding their point of view why run a blog? I listed the Piri Reis map as it is another consericy theroy. You didnt even pick that out. its what i like to call a mental land mine. and you stepped right on it. as i stated in my original post i have studied celt nz and all aspects of it including your work. After all it is just a THEORY GET OVER IT. This is what annoys me. How come one simple book has stured so much trouble. I am not into conspeicy theorys i just to have Knowledge of them to try and trip up so called hisorians. And since as you pointed out there hasn't been any evidence found yet, then the celtnz theory must be just that, a THEORY. Let people decide for themselves. I've tried doing research on my maori ancestory but i keep running into brick walls. Since i am only 1/16 maori i think i may give up on this side of my heritage and focus on my anglosaxon,spanish and irish side. FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!!

11:28 am  
Anonymous joe said...

11:57 am  
Blogger maps said...

If the Celtic NZ thesis constitutes a theory, then it is a theory which has as far as I can see been falsified (it's not a bad rule of thumb to loosely follow Karl Popper's dictum that the mark of a theory, as opposed to some sort of less rigorous belief, is that it is open to being falsified).

As I mentioned, the lack of archaeological remains and graves under the Taupo ash, the lack of a strong DNA connection between Maori and Europeans, and the lack of evidence of anthropogenic forest clearance before 1100 AD are all totally inconsistent with the claim that a large technologically population of Celts existed on these islands thousands of years ago before Maori conquered and interbred with them.

What do you think would falsify the Celtic NZ thesis?

Nobody is arguing that Doutre be prevented from publishing. What we are arguing is that he shouldn't be presented as a serious researcher and authority in the media when his ideas have been falsified, he lacks any understanding of scholarly method, and he has a habit of distorting other peoples' work in an attempt to give his own opinions.

I'd never heard of the Piri Reis map before you mentioned. I looked it up on the net and I gather that it is a genuine Portugese map from the 15th century or thereabouts which has been misrepresented by conspiracy theorists. But why mention it if you know it is irrelevant?

Have you thought about studying history or some related subject like anthropology at university? There is no shortage of genuine mysteries and controversies in these subjects.

12:43 pm  
Anonymous joe said...

I am sorry about the remark on the map. I am just so fustrated that information is hard to find. I have just come up with an idea. i dont know if it would work but it might. If auckland uni, te papa and auck museum and who everelse such as IWI who wish to be involed get together and create a open and free database of NZ history including all aspects of it (including consepicy theories so people can get other peoples views on matters). This database could be run and maintained by uni students doing - IT ( they can setup and maintain the website and servers)Database anilysts - they can look after the databases - anthropology and history students can gather photos and documentation etc.students studying Maori culture can gather information from IWI and so on.

This database can also have an open forum for people to discuss what they think on issues.

This will also benifit the students too, as they can put it on their CV that they have helped with it. It gives them some work experiance. And if it is made so non students can also have a say on what goes on something like wikipedia. nzpedia or something if you will. This way information is in one location and people from overseas can eiasly access it too. Like yesterday i was trying to find pictures of maori heads but their arn't too many which is a shame.

I have thought of doing anthropology and history but from my experiances of the nz education system they havent been that great. I left dropped out of school when i was 16 with nothing more than school c science. I didnt learn well in that einviroment (as you can probably tell by my spelling and grammer). I learnt more by teaching myself. Once again sorry for the remark on the map.

2:29 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...


i know you haven't replied yet but
Here is a good example of why we should have such a database. I am also in to ancient weapons. This is one of the many questions i have running around in my head.

It has always made me wonder why Maori never used the bow and arrow. It is used in the pacific islands some say hunting some say for ceremonial use.

NZ has feathers,wood and flint and they could use the tendons of the moa legs for the sting as they are very strong. some African tribes use the springbok leg tendons. all the stuff you need to make a bow and arrow. i think maybe because there may not be a suitable flexible wood such as willow? I no little about plants but that is just a guess. Bows would have great for the Maori, they could have hunted Moa's with it and also used them to defend their PA's.

In the book " The Maori As He Was : A Brief Account of Maori Life as it was in Pre-European Days
The Art of War"

this is a out take of it

"Missile weapons were but little employed by the Maori, and those used were of the rudest form. The bow and arrow he knew not, though his ancestors must have known it in their ocean wanderings. Fig. 63 shows a wooden bow found in a swamp at Mangapai—an interesting discovery, inasmuch as the Maori did not use the bow and arrow. Throwing - spears were evidently not favourite weapons."

This makes me think.

(By the way i don't expect you to answer them they are just running around in my head)
What happened to this found bow? if it exists?
And if it does, have tests been done on the wood to see what type it is? and where its from?
how old is it?
How did it get there?
are there more?
i could go on for hours asking questions. it is just in my nature.

Just thought you may be interested

Here is the link of the book.

nz gemstones

6:03 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

Hi Joe,

A database such as you describe would be nice, and is a good idea. The public dissemination of academic knowledge can be a problem.

In the meantime I thought i'd post a few links to help you:

This one concerns the NZ journal of archaeology which is published by the NZAA. If you are keen you can always subscribe to it (I think its about $60 a year) for their quarterly publications. Otherwise just try browsing through the NZAA website.

You could also try searching the University of Auckland Library site which contains pretty much everything you need to know. You might be able to view the items in the Library if you're around the city, though you wont be able to take them out of the building. If you're not local to Auckland, try other University Libraries. In general, public libraries won't have the info you're looking for (i.e. archaeological scholarship).

You might find the Historic Places Trust Website of some help, you can search reports and get a feel for the legislative side of archaeology.

I also find searches of Google Scholar are generally very useful. It is easily accessed and tends not to have any junky stuff (most of the articles come from university databases so they are peer-revirewed, something the Doutre-esc kind of websites are not - this should ring the warning bells for you). Have you tried?

Lastly, here is a quick resource which may be of some help:

I hope these pointers might be of some assistance to you.

7:27 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

I would also say that if you really are keen on anthropology or history, it is never too late to give it a go. I left school when I was 16 also, but without any formal qualifications. Like you say, bad experience for some. But I ended up at uni as an adult student after several years job hopping and never looked back. If your passionate about something, it can be very rewarding. Anyway, just thought i'd add that as you seem quite interested in this sort of stuff.

7:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA! it looks like joe got you there maps

1:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i would like to comment concerning the moko mokai who have red or blond hair and pale skin, to anybody who knows the procedure for preserving them it is no suprise,infact it is more of a surprise that some of them still have dark hair.The steaming process made the skin and hair easily bleached by the sun,the same sun they were dried in on the turuturu.The varying colour can easily be explained by varying lengths of time exposed to steam and sunbleaching,the longer the heads where on display the more bleached they become.
Not to mention the fact that some of the pakeha head traders became what they sought. Ive even heard that some of the traders were able to pick the heads of the captured they liked the look of before they were killed,and have them tattoo'd to their liking post mortem.

5:12 am  
Anonymous Andrew Tait said...

I agree with your criticisms of moon maps but I don't think they go nearly far enough. I have read the book from cover to cover and I was appalled. Moon is hostile not only to Maori culture and Catholicism but to the Enlightenment as well.
His basic (tired) thesis is that postmodernism has made it impossible for us to defend Western values. These values are not, however, democratic, scientific, secular values but English Christian Victorian values.
What makes Moon dangerous is that he has learned to speak politically correct language so well - for heaven's sake he works in AUT's Faculty of Māori Development!
I am surprised you waste your time on the Celtic NZ nonsense, which no one takes seriously, and hail Moon as a serious historian.

12:57 am  
Anonymous Term paper said...

It’s great to see good information being shared and also to see fresh, creative ideas that have never been done before.

8:50 pm  
Blogger ScooterNZ said...

Hey Andrew, have you seen what else Moon has written about the Maori? I doubt you would still call him anti-Maori if you had.

11:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I agree with Maps, cannibalism didn't start until after they gave our people the Musket.Slavery,killing and cannibalism started after that.
Hey Maps,I think maybe Paul Moon got his info out of a Weetbix box, yeah ?

Edward, I think I know you my friend.Does Kings Arms Warriors night ring any bells ?

1:23 pm  
Anonymous Dale K said...

Joe, thanks for your comments. I love your open-mindedness. Most of the comments on this blog are from people unable to accept any new theory or idea from sources other than the ones they have been taught at University !!! I think a person who has obtained a degree can become very narrow-minded in their thinking. After 3 years at Uni. my nephew now believes in Evolution.I said to him,"They might be your relatives but they're not my mine,ha! The point is that he has been indoctrinated. He was a very open-minded young lad before going to Uni.
JOE, love your comments.

12:39 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

I do not see how you can claim that the Piri Reis map has been subject to 'conspiracy theories" (God, how I despise the use of that term). The Piri Reis map shows coastline/landmass mapping which is hard to explain from our knowlege of human exploration from Europe at that time.... Since you seem intent on using a blanket smear to dismiss conjecture (and it's all conjecture at this point, is it not?) then you would not enjoy reading the Gavin Menzies book, "1421" I advise you not to read it, as it might provide too much 'conjecture'.

8:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Maoris Worshipped Osiris the Egyptian Sun God
With History dating back thousands of years taking into consideration the Land Bridge Lemuria-like Atlantis-anyone who entertains the thought that the Polynesians were the First Race here is naive or at best stupid
The Polynesians were the First Tourists and had no right to claim ownership of nz or to sign the Fraudulent Treaty any more than the counterfeit queen victoria laid right to have her counterfeit agents sign

10:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Guardians of the land', LEMURIA (austral-melanesia) , NICAN TLACA (americas) , Maeatae (british isles) , RU (pacifica) , TLACA (africa) ,ANIU (Japan) .... 'out of africa' theory bs... the earth' expanding ... we are all ONE peoples... Religiouslildikpedonazis escaped into EURASIA. ice age barrier hence the Inbreeding... realising the world evolve without them... hence the JEALOUSY to this day... Simple logic

2:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just a thought, To all those "money-hungry-industrialist-elite-bible-banger-inbred-homo-geeks "BONGS NOT BOMBS"

3:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never lose your Soul.... Wisdom' better than gold.

3:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Herb shows your kindness... Alcohol shows you're mindless.

3:57 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

1. Who came up with the idea of a false conciousness saying you have to live amongst a group of people to judge them (cannot be objective using our own view of what is normal)?

2. Wasn't Captain Cook the first one to confirm cannibalism?

3. That Germanic tribes may have practised canibalism isn't the issue. The issue is that society can (for all it's faults) progress? I often think of this as I drive past Richard Seddons house site in Kumara and I'd rather be tethered to that latter view than the alternative.

6:03 pm  
Anonymous jh said...

Has had any one had any thoughts about evolutionary psychology which holds that we have behaviour modules evolved during the Pleistocene? It is interesting to follow the case of white children captured by native Americans.

When an Indian Child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our Customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and make one Indian Ramble with them, there is no perswading him ever to return, and that this is not natural to them merely as Indians, but as men, is plain from this, that when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and lived a while among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first good Opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them.
Benjamin Franklin

6:21 pm  

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