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Moa eggshell and ribs below Taupo Hukanui Pool

Moa ribs and eggshell in situ in Hukanui Pool

Fragments of moa eggshell can be seen on the plastic bag at the righthand side of the excavated surface. Two moa ribs have also been exposed in the cave sediment immediately beneath the grey volcanic ash. Two volcanic tephra layers are represented in Hukanui Pool. The Taupo Ignimbrite (the grey material) was emplaced in 234±6 CE and is c.60 cm deep in deposit. It provides a clear chronological marker in this and other sites on the south face of Hukanui.

The sediments are accumulated weathering products of the barnacle coquina limestone of the blocks which form the rock shelter structure. The average rate of sedimentation was about 0.25 mm per annum. Some cobble-sized blocks of limestone have also been exposed. The interface between the tephra and the cave sediment represents the floor of the rockshelter at the time of the eruption.

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