Digging up the Past: Archaeology for the Young and Curious

David Veart

Author: David Veart
Format: Hardback
Pages: 112
Published: November 2011
Availability: Out of stock / out of print
Specs: 26.5cm x 23.5cm
ISBN: 9781869404659

What do moa eggs, seeds chewed by rats and 600-year-old footprints have in common? Lost planes, dog turds and frozen sleeping bags? Archaeologists in Aotearoa New Zealand deal with artefacts like these every day to work out how the people before us lived.

In this book David Veart walks alongside the archaeologists as they dig up the past on top of volcanoes and beneath our city streets, in Māori pā and explorers’ huts. He shows us the things they find – obsidian adzes, enamel cups, the carved prow of a waka – and tells us the remarkable stories they have uncovered of Polynesian voyagers and Pākehā sealers, Māori gardeners and Chinese storekeepers.

Looking for ancient DNA, researching your own rubbish (WARNING: stinky work ahead), doing aerial archaeology with Google Earth (better than leaning out of a biplane) – this book will have readers of all ages thinking like archaeologists as it excavates the stories of the past.


More about David Veart


Read an extract here


Awards and Nominations

Winner – 2012 Honour Award, NZ Post Children's Book Awards – Digging up the Past: Archaeology for the Young and Curious, David Veart



David Veart interview on Saturday Morning with Kim Hill



I actually defy anyone  . . . not to be captivated by this. – John McIntyre, RNZ National

I certainly under any classification couldn’t be called young and I found it a really good read. – Harry Broad, Nine to Noon, RNZ National

This is a well presented, written and thought-out book, fascinating in its history and how to uncover our history. Predominantly directed at a child and teen audience, it has fun suggestions and tips for further exploration and backyard (or garbage bag) excavation that the reader can follow up for themselves. – Lou Tulett, Manawatu Standard