Early Polynesian settlement
Excavations carried out between 1995 and 1999 throughout the Kingston area uncovered clear evidence of East Polynesian settlement dating back to the 13th and 14,h centuries.
Archaeologists found remnants of a hut, ovens, refuse pits and postholes, adding to much earlier discoveries of stone adzes and the remains of a canoe.
They also unearthed evidence of the early Polynesian rat, Rattus exulans, suggesting Norfolk was part of a Polynesian navigational route extending from Tahiti and the Cook Islands to New Zealand and the Kermadecs.
When and why the community died out or moved on is unclear, says Janelie. But researchers believe the island probably lay unpopulated for several hundred years before human habitation took hold again in 1788.