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“When I was five years old I told my parents that

I wanted to be an archaeologist and travel the

world. My only worry was that I would miss my

mum. Overcoming homesickness in leaps and

bounds, today I work as an archaeologist in

New Zealand for Opus International Consultants

Limited. Over the last few months I have worked

in the field excavating pre-European contact

Māori horticultural field systems in the Waikato

and in the lab analysing moa remains and

stone artefacts from Ōtautahi (Christchurch).

I have also carried out research with members

of Anthropology at the University of Auckland

using modern spatial technologies such

as LiDAR and terrestrial laser scanning in

New Zealand and Hawai’i. Every day is different,

working as an archaeologist, with a good mix

of research, playing in the mud, early morning

coffee and trying to explain how that artefact

came to be there.

“For me, the most enjoyable part of my job is

working with or talking to the descendants of

the people who made the stuff that is in the

ground today. The look on people’s faces when

they touch physical history that they tie their

identity to is priceless. This may be in talking to

locals of a site whose ancestors were European

settlers in the 1800s or were Māori who have

lived in Aotearoa for the last 800 years or so.

There is something about seeing and touching

objects that have been under the ground for

hundreds of years that I think most people can

appreciate as being pretty special. Connecting

people with their history keeps me grinning.

“To be an archaeologist, it is a no brainer

that you need to study courses in archaeology

(within Anthropology). I have been able to

study a wide variety of courses – especially in

my undergraduate degree – that have taught

me where my strengths and weaknesses lie.

I have studied languages, cultural studies,

ancient history, history, geography, geology

and anthropology all within one degree. Having

a wide variety of courses at my fingertips

definitely kept me interested, but it also

solidified my path to become an archaeologist.

My favourite experience as a student was

during my honours and masters years, where

classes where a bit cosier, discussions were a

bit more heated and my research was more


“There are so many opportunities and resources

made available to you as an Arts student. Take

advantage of them and fulfil your dreams like

I did!”

Zac McIvor

Bachelor of Arts

Major in Anthropology and minor in Ancient


Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Anthropology

Master of Arts in Anthropology, specialising

in Archaeology

Archaeologist – Opus International

Consultants Limited