The “megaliths” of New Zealand


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By Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews

Earlier this week, I gave a talk to the South-West Hertfordshire Archaeological Society on the subject of Bad Archaeology. Among the questions at the end, most of which were generally supportive of my sceptical tone, I was challenged to explain the evidence for pre-Maori “megaliths” in New Zealand and, more specifically, the work of Martin Doutré, an American citizen living in New Zealand. At the time, I mentioned that I had heard of Doutré’s work and that I was aware of its links with extreme right-wing politics. For me, that ought to be enough to dismiss the implications of his so-called “discoveries”, but it was clearly not enough for my questioner.

Back-track to July 2008. I received an email from a “Badger H Bloomfield” of Dannevirke, New Zealand, in which I was challenged to “check out if you are interested.A find of buried clay sculptures ,siltstone carvings,Script,glyphs, pyramids all in New Zealand at Dannevirke ,Motea .Waione. Horoeka,Tararua District… A very objective find …Obviously out of Africa ..3D.carved face profiles with large lips …Everybody has  been skeptical BUT nobody has come to have a look!!? Remember ..”Seeing is Believing:”…I challenge you to prove this as “Bad Archaeology””. A bit of googling revealed a few websites that contain comments by Mr Bloomfield. He seems to turn up from time to time in discussions of New Zealand prehistory, sometimes promoting his Tararua Ancient Sites Project, which has no real web presence. Indeed, this is what he did in a reply email to me: “While you guys argue and debate the misnomer of “Bad Archaeology “.We are uncovering a dig of enormous proportion …No one wanted to know only wanted to argue whether we were qualified to dig or not ,so we called in some overseas Prof:s,Academics ,and interested researchers .…What we have retrieved to date are hundreds of stone carvings ,sculptures ,ancient script ,settlement sites.We have retrieved a lot ,restoring as we go ,with a lot still in the ground being destroyed by quarry machinery it can’t stay in the ground forever ,it has to be retrieved and analised,So instead of yapping about something you know nothing about ,make the effort to come and view at “Tararua Ancient Sites Projects Restoration Studio“.

Some of Badger H Bloomfield's alleged Neolithic tools

Some of Badger H Bloomfield’s alleged “Neolithic tools”

It’s actually very difficult to find information about the Tararua Ancient Sites Project, although a photograph posted by Badger Bloomfield on a site dealing with dinosaur fossils purports to depict Neolithic tools. I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that they are from Tararua; however, this may be confirmed by his comment on the Maori News blog that “the exhibition of Taumata atua sculptures and carved Ma-Uri stones retrieved from Ancient sites by the “Tararu Ancient Sites Project”… want our original “Tangata Whenua”recognised as to whoever they were !!!A culture of Neolithic artisans capable of creating a group{tribe}of very efficient carvers ,seamen,gardeners,builders,all the carved face profiles on the carvings and sculptures only represent “Men”..So!! who did they breed with?? Maeroero ?”. According to the caption of the photograph, “on close inspection carved faces and designs are visible” on the stones. I have to say that I can’t see any evidence for carving, for faces or even for an anthropogenic origin for these bits of stone, although I’m basing my opinion purely on a photograph.

Unfortunately, the New Zealand Archaeological Association declined to comment on Badger Bloomfield’s project when I asked them for further information. A spokesperson did confirm, though, that she was aware of him and had received emails similar in tone to those he had sent me.

Part of the Doutré hypothesis is that orthodox academics are actively suppressing or wrongfully discrediting his discoveries. He manages to get respectful press attention, although some have complained about it. He is also something of a revisionist when it comes to interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Trying to research this subject drags us into the murky subculture of White Supremacists, who are determined to show that Europeans settled various places (in this case New Zealand) before the inhabitants discovered by the first European explorers. Sometimes, these people hide behind innocuous enough (but often poorly designed) websites; sometimes they are more brazen about their beliefs. Now, I’m not suggesting that either Martin Doutré or Badger Bloomfield are white supremacists (indeed, Badger Bloomfield seems to be as enthusiastic about Maori archaeology as his clearly is about supposedly pre-Maori archaeology); what is evident, though, is that the alleged discoveries they are keen to promote are taken up with glee by extreme right wing racists. Moreover, Doutré very publicly endorsed David Irving and holocaust denialism in a comment on a post in the Scoop Review of Books.

However, having neo-Nazi sympathies does not automatically invalidate Martin Doutré’s hypothesis. People can hold vile political views and still make important discoveries. So, what is his evidence for “Celtic New Zealand”? He makes much use of things he identifies as standing stones or megaliths, comparing them with examples known in the British Isles. Many of the stones he claims as megaliths look more like glacial erratics. However, his surveys of their locations have suggested that they incorporate significant astronomical alignments and may even be laid out according to the ‘Megalithic Yard’. His surveying is based on what he has learned in his profession as a carpenter, rather than archaeologist or surveyor, but Alexander Thom, doyen of astro-archaeologists, was an engineer by profession, so this isn’t a damning observation.

However, without evidence that all these recumbent stones were once deliberately arranged in the landscape, some standing upright, they remain boulders that have not been shown to be megaliths. The carved and shaped stones of Badger H Bloomfield resemble nothing more than the “artefacts” from the Bay of Cambay touted by Graham Hancock as evidence for his ‘lost civilisation’; in other words, they are of natural, not anthropogenic, origin. And the precise measurements using ‘megalithic yards’? Well, for one thing, the stones are claimed to have fallen from their original upright positions, so Martin Doutré has to “reconstruct” the original appearance of the “stone circles”, meaning that these precise measurements are based not on the stones themselves, nor on archaeological evidence showing where they originally stood, but on Doutré’s beliefs about where they ought to have stood. Alexander Thom’s ‘megalithic yard’ was debunked in much the same way: his very accurate surveys were of stone circles that were sometimes incomplete or otherwise not in their original forms, or had been ‘restored’ in some way, so his surveys were of the twentieth-century appearance of the circles, not their Early Bronze Age forms. The ‘megalithic yard’ is pretty much the average human pace, not an accurate system of measurement.

A supposedly 150,000 year old carved tree stump from New Zealand

A supposedly 150,000 year old “carved tree stump” from New Zealand

There is more, inevitably. Claims for a 150,000 year old carved tree stump associated with a stone adze have been recycled. A nineteenth-century print of the stump does not inspire confidence in claims that it really was carved by humans. I have not been able to find an illustration of the “adze”; why would someone ‘carving’ a tree stump leave the tool with which they had done the job next to the finished article, anyway?

All in all, Martin Doutré’s “Celtic New Zealand” claims are rubbish. There is no politer way of putting it. Used to bolster some rather unpleasant extreme right-wing political views, it is an hypothesis born of what he wants the past to have been, not what it actually was.

Perhaps one reason for the enthusiasm with which some have taken up the “Celtic New Zealand” hypothesis is the fact that many of the nineteenth-century European immigrants in New Zealand were of Scottish or Irish ancestry. It remains the case, though, that not a single shred of credible evidence for pre-Maori settlement has ever been found; although its proponents claim an academic conspiracy to silence them and suppress their discoveries, not only are they able to publish them, any real archaeologist who discovered pre-Maori settlers on the islands would have their career made in an instant!

28 comments

    1. Who is writing this drivel? The article has no author, which suggests who ever it is hiding behind the web. Sounds a bit like that freak Maps whom we Kiwis have become familiar with as a paranoid academic afraid of new discoveries.

      Get a like you freak.

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      1. I apologise that my name has not been appearing above the posts (I have now edited all of them so that it does). Far from “hiding behind the web” as you assert, I had mistakenly believed that WordPress inserted my name as author into the post (it shows that way for me, as author).

        But drivel? I am trying to analyse claims that appear preposterous and find that they vanish into nothingness when approached with no preconceptions. The idea that there is such a thing as “a paranoid academic afraid of new discoveries” is something that only pseudoscientists believe: anyone even peripherally involved in academia knows that new discoveries, properly documented, are the way to make a career. Unfortunately, Martin Doutré has done nothing that suggests his alleged “discoveries” are anything more than wishful thinking driven by the racist desire to prove that Europeans settled New Zealand before the Maoris and therefore have greater rights over the land.

        As for “hiding behind the web”, I suggest that you, “Mr Moon”, let us know exactly who you are before you start accusing me of deliberate anonymity and calling me names.

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  1. An excellent post. I’ve had, as you noted, dealings with Bloomfield; he’s sent me quite a few photos that are very similar to the one you’ve got in the post. I would say more, but you’ve basically said everything I would say, so I’ll just leave you with “I agree.”

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    1. Hon Pita Sharples comes from the area from where ancient sites were found near Dannevirke-Takapau near a Marae named Whatuiapiti.the same name as one of my sites .. in Pita’s parliamentary maiden speak he notes that he comes from a long line of red haired maori chiefs – namely Toi- Takaha- Whatuiapiti. He has been informed many times concerning these sites…My heritage also is red haired Maori ..Regards ..BadgerH.Bloomfield

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      1. Badger, Polynesians arrived in what is now New Zealand is 1280 (that can be scientifically affirmed re carbon dating at the Wairau bar in New Zealand’s South Island). What Maritime vessel did the Scots have in 1280 or prior given the thesis is, is they were here prior to Polynesians – thus arriving here in the 13th Century or prior. The very good book “A Maritime History of Scotland” cites 1650-1790 as the ‘formative period’ of Scottish Maritime history so if that were the case what vessel and who was in it that left Scotland some 370 years (or earlier) to cross the massive expanse of water they did in arriving in New Zealand. That very feat nearly four decades to what is commonly described as the ‘formative period’ of Scottish Maritime history would elevate the Scots to perhaps some of the worlds foremost Maritime exponents in humanities history. Yet little is known of this in Scotlands academic, historical, anthropological, archaeological communities and one has to wonder why such a monumental achievement has gone missed by centuries of Scotsman.

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  2. I’m afraid there is plenty of evidence from every continent in the world that there was very likely an ancient civilisation that was globally connected. The problem with most ‘professionals’ in the field is 1. they don’t want to risk their careers investigating findings which don’t fit traditionally accepted norms and 2. if the evidence doesn’t fit, simply find a way to discredit and ridicule it. I really do hope there is a generation of people working in this area willing to challenge accepted thinking and explore these ideas much more.

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    1. Stuart

      What you say is rubbish.

      Any professional would have their career made through the discovery of something new that doesn’t “fit traditionally accepted norms”.

      I’d agree, though, that “any evidence that doesn’t fit” should be investigated. For a start, we should ask “is this evidence really of something that doesn’t fit or is it not evidence at all?”. What we have in this story from New Zealand is simply not evidence.

      If there really was “an ancient civilisation that was globally connected”, we’d find real evidence, such as the same styles of house, pottery, burial, stone tools and so on across the world. The fact that we don’t is good evidence that no such civilisation ever existed. All we’re ever offered as “evidence” is laughably poor material, most of which isn’t even of anthropogenic origin.

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      1. Hang on a minute – we do have evidence of housing, pottery, burial, tools etc from all over the world. Why you call them laughable I’m not sure, perhaps some are but given the huge amount its laughable to not see the links.

        For example the collection of artifacts Klaus Donas brought together to exhibit raises more questions than it answers. I don’t beleive many of these and other connections can be dismissed so easily.

        http://unsolved-mysteries.info/rundgang2eng/rg2eng.htm

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        1. But all of different styles! Global culture=global cultural objects. If there aren’t any, then there isn’a global culture. Simple as that.

          Show me a Deverel-Rimbury jar (or similar object or structure of c 1000 BC that matches precisely the style of its supposed British original) from a stratified context New Zealand and I will concede the point.

          Fact is, you can’t because nobody making these ludicrous claims has any idea what the everyday culture of the supposed homeland looked like in all its banal detail. All they ever do is look for the spectacular. And in the case of the New Zealand “megaliths”, they aren’t even real!

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          1. I will send images of Celtic styled stone carvings if you are interested.We have a selection of cultures showing up on these carved face profiles ..Asiatic -Celtic- Aboriginal-Caucasian-Melanesian-African -Polynesian ..Images really do not give true perspective as handling and turning the carvings excentuate the 3D.concept as applied … Regards .Badger H.Bloomfield..T.A.S.P.We have ALL the proof needed to establish authenticity !…

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  3. I don’t know about the megaliths in NZ or Badgers photos, but records in NZs archives and museum records show early settlers discovering MANY artifacts of south american, phoenician and asian styling ALL pre-dating Maori arrival (circa 1200). (FYI I am part-Maori and so am not aligned to any neo-nazi group nor have in any interest in demeaning Maori’s place in history or present NZ). Howeer I’m also interested in truth which for me means making all the pieces of evidence fit – not just the bits that fit the story. I mean there is also clear evidence of stone housing, walls, canals etc even mummified human remains. Now NONE of these artifacts or stone works are from Maori as they simply don’t match the stylings. Surely this suggests people came to settle the lands of NZ from other cultures first. I mean you’ve referred to the tree stump from Auckland found 25ft below (10 feet below lava flow from volcanoes long since extinct). All this re-inforces for me the noion that ancient man had the ability to travel globally at least a few thousand years prior to what we give him credit for.

    For NZ, a good book that simply collates early settler findings of artifacts, housing, canals etc is called ‘The Secret land Before Time’ Gary J Cook and Thomas J Brown. Includes many pictures and drawings from 19th and early 20th century scienties along with their commentaries on the pieces.

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  4. Lapita and later the Polynesian were the only peoples capable of going deep sea.
    This nonsense of any other people being in the Pacific previously is refuted by the lack of any archaeological evidence.
    The term racist kook comes to mind !

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  5. Well George it is YOU who is the “Racist Kook”.Obviously you have not visited my display and restoration studio that would prove my point to you ..As you might not realise ,it is a fine line between scepticism and ignorance and i think you just stepped over IT!! Badger HENARE Bloomfield ..Do you work for the N.Z. Government?

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    1. Dear god! What a pathetic retort. Someone questions idiocy and the cliched question is do you ‘work for the N.Z. Government’. Why do a particular type of ill informed people always resort to the cliche of blaming the government when people have the courtesy in pointing out how ill informed and fictitious they and their fairy tales are…and such stories are fairy tales and nothing more given there is no scientific basis to the plentiful claims you and those like you make.

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  6. Physics during the age of megaliths
    Over more than twenty years, I have realized hundreds of experiments, which were mostly motivated by trying to uncover the reasons and causes of not always convincingly explained working activities of ancient civilizations. In these experiments, I came to the conclusion that many activities of ancient prehistoric cultures were clearly motivated by the desire to exploit knowledge about the attributes of static electricity. Even in academic publications, I found no information on the range of the found properties of static electricity. It cannot be therefore excluded that they have never been published. For this reason, I admit it might be an entirely new knowledge.

    Four probably yet unpublished properties of static electricity showed on the theme of implementation of many megalithic and religious structures. Many often seemingly useless construction activities of our ancestors could not be convincingly and logically explained without the connection with these new findings of the properties of static electricity. Historians and archaeologists have often helped themselves out by saying that the motivation for constructing many buildings in our history was based solely on a “ritual” or “calendar reason”. All researchers and scientists who “dared” linking knowledge of ancient cultures with modern knowledge of the physical energies were often ridiculed by generally accepted capacities and rendered as being textbook ignorants. The four properties of static electricity introduced are however far from a total explanation of all yet difficult to explain mysteries of our history. In some cases, the new knowledge about the properties of matter in connection with a charge of static electricity provides only partial explanation to the historical mysteries, which suggests that there can be many more unidentified properties of static electricity.

    There is no doubt that there is an incorrect interpretation of certain parts of history in connection with the explanation of the motives for constructing many complex, but even the simplest of old buildings. It is therefore necessary to examine the question of logical reasons for building the constructions in context with new physical knowledge, which demonstrates that “knowledge” of ancient and extinct cultures surpassed the knowledge of modern history. The “ritual dogmas” will need to be replaced by new energy knowledge. This will create a real picture of the evolution of world cultures as well as a “springboard” for further research in some historical periods.

    However, there are the already mentioned “scientific” obstacles that discourage many that are interested in modern research. These obstacles that psychologically bind the thinking of many researchers that are eager for truth are the skeptics. The skeptics, in an effort to stand out, which they cannot achieve in a different field of science, serve as scientific inquisitors. Being a skeptic is very easy as skeptics always respond to new ideas by saying “Everything that cannot be put in context with known facts cannot be assessed.” They refuse to respect the fact that all new findings were found behind the edge of known facts in most cases.

    I was saddened, for example, when the skeptics in the Czech Republic attached an ‘erratic boulder’ to Erich von Daniken. Even if Daniken did not bring any revolutionary ideas in his work, he would have done more for the promotion of history than all the Czech inquisitional skeptics combined. Daniken inspired hundreds of thousands of researchers around the world by his extensive work – thousands of them chose their field of work due to his exploratory study. And last but not least, after centuries of neglect many historical monuments that were described by Daniken are now cracking under the pressure of curious tourists. Daniken fully described the megalithic culture in his writings.
    Literary works by Erich Daniken are well above the writings of other authors, who constantly repeat pieces of information that have already been published many times. I have studied all the writings of Erich Daniken and I can say that I gained more knowledge about the megaliths from his literature than I would have received by personal visits to the places described. There are more such cases, which I will not address here. I regard the ‘erratic boulder’ given to Erich Daniken as the worst injustice.

    Skeptics could not have objected to the way Mr. Daniken describes the megalithic culture, but they likely just disagreed with his opinion that it could not have been created by a ‘textbook type’ civilization and that ancient cultures received the information from some advanced cultures from outer space. And here is the discord, skeptics recognize the current interpretation of history, Mr. Daniken, as well as many logically thinking people, does not. It does not matter where the ancient cultures received the information. The fact is that they must have obtained it somewhere. The view of Mr. Daniken that ancient cultures may have obtained the information from space cannot be assessed in any other way then as a creative idea. Any doubts about the astronauts from other planets can encourage others to think about other explanations. The essence of the literary work of Mr. Daniken is not just getting the source of information, but it is the whole megalithic culture. Reacting to the opinion of Mr. Daniken by granting him an ‘erratic boulder’ seems amateur and inappropriate. People expect from scientists that they will scientifically and properly reason their decision.

    If skeptics think that people used to build thousands of megaliths all over the world for ritual and calendar purposes (as is currently mentioned in history) they only compromise themselves in the same way as archaeologists do. Unless it is explained what tools were used to machine the hardest diorite rock, unless it is experimentally demonstrated that it is possible to transport a block of rock weighing one thousand tons to a distance of two kilometers solely by the use of pulling and ropes, unless it is explained how people communicated with each other when they built the same types of megalithic structures around the world the account of Mr. Daniken cannot be clearly and categorically questioned. In this case, the purposely formulated assumption proposed by the skeptics by granting Erich von Daniken an ‘erratic boulder’ stated exactly the opposite. They reached a phase where public begun to question statements given by the skeptics.

    The new knowledge about static electricity resulting from the research of megaliths seems like a great hint not only for the research of ancient cultures but also for several other fields. In addition, we can expect further findings of the unknown properties of static electricity.

    I remind the importance of the four attributes of static electricity, which I describe in dozens of articles at http://www.miroslavprovod.com.
    1 – Each material has a charge with three energy components (aura, zones, and interzones).
    2 – When auras of two or more charges come into contact they merge into one common charge with common energy components.
    3 – By merging charges into a joint charge, there is a gradual equalizing of their energetic potentials.
    4 – During the equalizing of energetic potentials there is also a transfer of chemical properties.

    October 2010
    Miroslav Provod

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  7. Okay so they are fakes,why hasnt anyone bothered to actually have alook at them in the “flesh” so to speak,wouldnt that put it all to rest.Scientists these days are far too concerned with preaching about what they know and increasingly less interested in new finds.In the last forty years what have they”discovered”???Einstein threw out alot of old gibberish and asked alot of questions that opened science up to new discoveries,those lame so called scientists of today are no more than plageristic lemmings!

    GO OUT AND PROVE HIM WRONG DONT JUST ASSUME HE IS………DUH!

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  8. There sure is an African connection …with my stone carvings from Tararua New Zealand …So many people now lack the skills of going out on field trips to find proof of ancient cultures …they are all far to happy to sit on their arses ..you won’t find the proof by sitting behind a computer and thinking you know ALL by reading knowledge that somebody else has compiled…god help you if THEY are wrong …find out for yourself by just plain “Do it your bloody self ,you ignorant fellas you !.”Badger …Discoverer and Restorer of an Ancient Artisan stone working culture ,yet to be indentified ….”Who can help” ? are they the ancient Gods? who knows ? there are only a few pieces missing in the puzzle !

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  9. Badger…have read your barely coherent posts. You sound like a nutter. I hope you are funding your “research” yourself.

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    1. well Sam! i might sound like a nutter to you !that writes barely coherent posts …it is not my fault you cant.understand logic…. you are always welcome to view my collection of carved stone art from the Tararua..i bet you haven,t got the fortitude to turn up on my doorstep …it doesn,t take funding to pick out stone carvings from a cliff face ! who is funding you? w+++x r…i have better things to do than waffle with you!

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  10. Sadly, there seems to be more interest in bickering than conducting further research to determine whether an advanced race lived in New Zealand, say, 10,000 years ago. I have no idea. There is increasing rhetoric Worldwide (quantified as much as our current knowledge allows) which argues convincingly, in my opinion, that sophisticated civilisations have lived on Earth for considerably longer than 10,000 years. So why not a highly advanced culture, right here in New Zealand, 75000 years ago and how could it be proven?

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  11. Palaeolithic man spans hundreds of thousands of years, neolithic man only tens of thousands. Neolithic man specialised into megalithic man thousands of years ago. Megalithic man started from Mauritania along the Atlantic and Baltic coasts of Europe, and crossed to Korea from the north of Central Asia. From Korea he went into Micronesia; thence into Samoa and Tonga. In Eastern Polynesia he left more traces. Another Megalithic Track goes along the south of Asia into the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Java, and there stops. The northern route is fairly continuous across the Pacific into Central America and Peru. It is a Track of only one division of mankind. This division is Caucasian, not Negroid or Mongoloid. For it is also maritime and long voyaging. The Track probably proves a line of inland seas from the Caspian to Lake Baikal. A maritime Caucasian people therefor found its way into Polynesia, and thence to America

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    1. Thank you J Macmillan Brown .an invitation is always open to you to visit the “Badgers Den” Museum -Library-Studio- Gallery,..Collectors and Restorers of Ancient carved stone art– Zealandic in origin …10 Hunter Str. Dannevirke .Tararua .

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