Ash fallout from the volcanic eruptions at Taupō (known as the Taupō ash) in 232 (± 15 years), and at Tarawera (known as the Kaharoa ash) in 1314 (± 12 years), might have buried existing settlements.

In the eastern North Island, archaeological remains of Polynesian occupation have been found immediately above the Kaharoa ash layer.

By looking at trace elements in teeth and bones, scientists could possibly tell what a person’s diet was likely to have been, and perhaps where they lived.

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Therefore, by measuring the amount of carbon-14 a once-living object retains, scientists can determine its age.

While the radiocarbon dating method can provide close estimations of age, the figures should not be regarded as exact.

The prevailing winds make it difficult to sail non-stop in a straight line from East Polynesia to New Zealand, or from New Zealand to East Polynesia.

By dating archaeological evidence of people stopping over at islands on their return journey, it is possible to suggest the date when they might have reached New Zealand.

Now, another group is reporting they've developed another tool, which is able to distinguish between legal and illegal sold ivory.

The technique looks at the radioactive carbon in the ivory, which elephants—and every other living creature on earth—incorporated into their bodies in unusually high levels during the Cold War era."Our dating method is affordable for government and law enforcement agencies and can help tackle the poaching and illegal trade crises," geologist Kevin Uno told Columbia University.Uno worked on the tool as a graduate student at the University of Utah and is now a researcher at Columbia.Radiocarbon dates of archaeological sites could support the theory that New Zealand and its northern satellite islands were settled at about the same time.Radiocarbon dates for the settlement of the Chatham Islands are currently later than for mainland New Zealand – around 1500.The Kermadec group and Norfolk Island lie about halfway between East Polynesia and New Zealand, and it is likely that Polynesian explorers returning from New Zealand stopped at these islands on the way.