Getty Images

An ancient Māori village has just been discovered in Gisborne!

Headlines 31/05/2018

Remains of an ancient Māori village have been discovered beneath the port in Gisborne. 

This is after The University of Otago got permission to start digging after evidence of the 14th-century settlement was found in 2016.

Since then, they've uncovered stone and obsidian tools, fish hooks and bones belonging to moa and dogs.

Archaeology professor Richard Walter explains:

We don't know as much about the early occupation around this part of the coastline as we do in other parts of the country.

There are not too many of these very early sites, and so this one is filling the gaps.

The first contact between Māori and James Cook happened on a nearby river.

The archaeologists have only scraped the surface of the buried village so far: 

It's important to understand the site, but it's also important to leave part of the site for the future because there are all sorts of technologies in the future that might be able to tell us even more than we know now...

Once they're done analysing the artefacts, the University of Otago scientists will return them to the local iwi.