By Janet Davidson
A comprehensive guide to the objects associated with the
voyages of James Cook held at New Zealand's National Museum.
Almost 250 years after James Cook first sighted Aotearoa New Zealand in
October 1769, there is still world-wide interest in all aspects of his three voyages
of exploration in the Pacific between 1768 and 1779: discovery (by Europeans),
astronomy, natural science, and interactions with indigenous communities. For
many people, the ‘artificial curiosities’ – works of human manufacture from exotic
locations – collected on these voyages by Cook himself and others on his ships,
including super-numenaries and servants, have held a particular fascination.
In this handsome book, widely respected Pacific scholar Janet Davidson details
the collection of Māori, Pacific and Native American objects associated with the
voyages held at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, one of the few significant institutional collections that have not been fully described until now. Richly illustrated with over 200 images and accessibly written, it is a treasure trove.
About the Author
Janet Davidson ONZM is an eminent archaeologist who had a long career first at the Dominion Museum and then at Te Papa. A graduate of the University of Auckland, in 1965 she was the E. Earle Vaile Archaeologist at the Auckland Institute and Museum, an honorary lecturer at University of Otago and later Senior Curator, Pacific, at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She is now an Honorary Research Associate at Te Papa. Janet’s career combined active and often pioneering fieldwork across the Pacific with an imaginative approach to museum research and display that attracted young scholars. She has published extensively on the prehistory of New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. She edited the New Zealand Journal of Archaeology from 1985–2008. She was also a major contributor to the Journal of the Polynesian Society. In 2007, a major archaeology publication, Vastly Ingenious: The Archaeology of Pacific Material Culture, was published in her honour.
Extent: 288 pages