This is a microscopic view of fragments of charcoal (black) and pollen grains (pink) from an ancient swamp deposit. Microscopic studies from a number of sites showed that charcoal appeared suddenly about 1280–1350 AD, at the same time as tree pollen decreased. This is believed to be caused by deliberate burning soon after the first humans arrived and settled in New Zealand.
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Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua
Photograph by Janet Wilmshurst
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