Des Kahotea Incorporates Indigenous Traditions in Modern Archeology

Maori archeologist discusses efforts to excavate and protect sacred sites April 22

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Des Kohotea

Archeologist Des Kohotea has dedicated his life to protecting and promoting the native Maori people of New Zealand. He has earned significant notice for his efforts to protect sacred native sites from development while working with local groups to excavate and examine these areas to enhance understanding of the history and evolution of Maori society.

Kahotea will discuss his research and current issues in indigenous archeology during the presentation “Protecting Sacred Sites by Understanding Maori Tradition and Trusting Tapu,” at 4 p.m. April 22 in room 3355 in the Eastman Building on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology.

The event will include a discussion of Kahotea’s current efforts to incorporate Maori science into traditional archeological techniques and broader international efforts to protect and preserve ancient native sites around the world. The talk is free and open to the public and will be followed by a question and answer session.

Kahotea has spent close to two decades as a researcher and lecturer at several New Zealand academic institutions, including Waikato University, the Unitec Institute of New Zealand and Victoria University of Wellington. He has also served as an archeologist with the Smithsonian Institute and is currently an indigenous representative to the World Archeology Congress.

The event is sponsored by the international studies program and the department of sociology and anthropology at RIT. For more information, contact Jason Younker at