Thursday, June 05, 2008

Humans May Have Come To New Zealand Later Than Thought
Radiocarbon dating of rat bones and rat-gnawed seeds reinforces a theory that human settlers did not arrive in New Zealand until 1300 A.D. _ about 1,000 years later than some scientists believe, according to a study released Tuesday.

The first settlement date "has been highly debated for decades," said Dr. Janet Wilmshurst, a New Zealander who led the international team of researchers in the four-year study. The team carbon dated rat bones and native seeds, and concluded that the earliest evidence of human colonization in the South Pacific country was from 1280 A.D. to 1300 A.D.