Archaeologist

Isaac McIvor completed a Master of Arts in Anthropology and now works as an archaeologist for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

Isaac McIvor taking a reading from a machine during his outfield research by the sea

Key facts

Career: Archaeologist
Programme: Master of Arts
Subject: Anthropology

“When I was five years old I told my parents that I wanted to be an archaeologist and travel the world. Today I work as an archaeologist for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

"My current role is all about conserving, advocating for, documenting and sharing New Zealand's heritage for the benefit of the public and future generations of New Zealanders. My day to day involves meeting with stakeholders including tangata whenua representatives, land owners, archaeologists and developers to bring about positive heritage outcomes during developments. This also requires reviewing archaeological reports and assessments, undertaking historic research and going on site visits to archaeological sites.

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.

"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. Connecting people with their history keeps me grinning.

"In the Faculty of Arts I was able to study a wide variety of courses 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.

“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!”