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AUSTRALASIAN SOCIETY FOR HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY

The Australian Society for Historical Archaeology (ASHA) was founded in 1970 to promote the study of historical archaeology in Australia. In 1991 the Society was expanded to include New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region generally, and its name was changed to the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology.

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​GRAY’S STORE & THE TEMPERANCE LODGE, GREENOUGH

View of ‘Temperance Lodge’ (HCWA3729) from Company Road (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015).
Gray’s Store (HCWA1153) following restoration by National Trust and Palassis Architects in 1977 (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015)
Melissa Hetherington

Through the Eyes of Henry Gray: Investigating the influence of the Temperance Movement and Wesleyan Methodism on the Greenough Flats, Western Australia, 1839 – 1900

A new research project has just begun on the historic settlement on the Greenough Flats, which are situated approximately 400km north of Perth, and 25km south of Geraldton, Western Australia.

In Western Australia, a recommendation for the establishment of a temperance society in King George Sound (Albany) was put forward as early as 1833, on the basis that ‘temperance societies have been found to be highly beneficial by discouraging the use of ardent spirits’ (The Perth Gazette, 19th October 1833, p.167-8). Temperance advocates were aiming to combat numerous issues in the colony, such as increases in crime rates and illness, which were linked to drunkenness. Temperance advocates with religious motivations also tended to focus on making the connection between immorality and drunkenness. In this way, motivations behind the temperance movement were multi-layered.
This research aims to explore the nature of the temperance movement in Western Australia by examining social issues related to drunkenness and the motivations that lay behind the establishment of temperance and teetotaller societies in Western Australia. This research will also explore the ways in which the temperance movement influenced secular and religious organisations and commercial enterprise in the Western Australian colony by examining what motivated individuals to establish a lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars (I.O.G.T.) in Perth and the Midwest (Geraldton & Greenough), what motivated settlers to join the movement, and whether members of the I.O.G.T. achieved the outcomes they set out to achieve. Particular focus will be given to Charles Watson Gray, who established the I.O.G.T. in Western Australia, and Charles’ father, Henry Gray, who established a network of general stores (H. Gray & Co.) in Greenough & Geraldton, and whose personal and commercial interests were influenced by his support for and involvement with the I.O.G.T.

Beginning in November 2015, archaeological investigations will be conducted at Henry Gray’s general store and the Temperance Lodge, which are two National Trust properties located along Company Road, on the Greenough Flats. This research has been initiated through collaboration with the National Trust (NTWA), which manages 19 historic places on the Greenough Flats. The NTWA wish to gain a greater understanding of the heritage places in Western Australia that have come into their custodianship.

Gray’s Store (HCWA1153) following restoration by National Trust and Palassis Architects in 1977 (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015) Gray’s Store (HCWA1153) following restoration by National Trust and Palassis Architects in 1977 (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015).

View of ‘Temperance Lodge’ (HCWA3729) from Company Road (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015). View of ‘Temperance Lodge’ (HCWA3729) from Company Road (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015).

Facebook has also been used to connect and communicate with local residents, which has made it possible to connect with the wider community, including descendants of the settlers on the Greenough Flats. Descendants of Henry Gray and William Moore have already contributed photographs and documents from private collections, which have been of vital importance to understanding the history of Gray’s Store. Many of those who already take an interest in the history of the Greenough Flats settlement are familiar with the Pioneer Museum and Gardens in Greenough. Therefore, the project has been advertised through the museum’s Facebook page, to raise awareness about the upcoming fieldwork in Greenough, to spark further community interest and participation in this research.

Advertising the project on the Greenough Museum and Gardens Facebook page.
Advertising the project on the Greenough Museum and Gardens Facebook page.

If you are interested in volunteering for the excavations in 2016, or wish to gain experience in historical archaeology, send an email to Melissa at: melissa.hetherington@research.uwa.edu.au


This blog first appeared in the ASHA Newsletter 2015, vol 45, no 3, pp 10-12.

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ARC SUCCESS FOR HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY

Excavating a colonial-era Melanesian village site, south Tanna Island. (Courtesy of J. Flexner)
Excavating a colonial-era Melanesian village site, south Tanna Island. (Courtesy of J. Flexner)
Penny Crook

Historical archaeologists have been awarded three Discovery projects in the recently announced round of ARC-funding. The projects reflect the diversity of historical-archaeological research in the Australasian region, ranging from the archaeological vestiges of the Queensland Native Mounted Police, to the mining landscapes of regional Victoria and the Christian missionaries of Vanuatu. Details of each project are below.

The investment of over $1.73 million over 4 years demonstrates the competitiveness of, and interest in, historical archaeological research on the national stage.

We congratulate the chief investigators, Associate Professor Heather Burke, Associate Professor Susan Lawrence and Dr James Flexner, and all their locall and international collaborators, and wish them every success in their research.

THE PROJECTS

Associate Professor Heather Burke, Professor Bryce Barker, Professor Iain Davidson, Dr Lynley Wallis, Dr Noelene Cole, Ms Elizabeth Hatte and Dr Larry Zimmerman
The Flinders University of South Australia
$765,727, 4 years

This project plans to conduct a systematic archaeological study of the Queensland Native Mounted Police. While previous studies have focused on policing activities as revealed by the historical record, this project will combine material, oral and historical evidence from a range of sites across central and northern Queensland to understand more fully the activities, lives and legacies of the Native Police. This project aims to provide an alternative lens through which to understand the nature of frontier conflict, initiate new understandings of the Aboriginal and settler experience, and contribute to global studies of Indigenous responses to colonialism.

Associate Professor Susan Lawrence, Associate Professor Ian Rutherfurd, Dr Ewen Silvester, Dr Darren Baldwin, Professor Mark Macklin, Dr Peter Davies and Ms Jodi Turnbull
La Trobe University
$650,187, 4 years

By considering rivers as cultural artefacts, this project aims to evaluate how historical gold mining has shaped river systems in Victoria. Victoria’s historic mining industry led to extensive and long-lasting change to waterways across the state. The project plans to integrate approaches from landscape archaeology, physical geography, geomorphology and environmental chemistry to identify and map the extent of changes, including increased sedimentation, erosion, and chemical contamination. The project plans to demonstrate how historical mining continues to influence chemical and physical processes in Victorian streams and to develop understanding of the landscapes experienced by Victorians at the height of the mining boom. Project outcomes may provide improved context for catchment and reservoir management and counter prevailing impressions about causes of observed damage to rivers.

Dr James Flexner, Dr Stuart Bedford and Dr Frederique Valentin
The Australian National University
$317,698.00

This project aims to conduct an archaeological survey of Vanuatu. One of archaeology's most significant contributions is providing models for the emergence of cultural diversity through time. Vanuatu is one of the most diverse regions on Earth. The southern islands were an important hub in early settlement and long-term inter-island interactions of Island Melanesia. Yet little is known about the origins of cultural contacts and diversity in the area. A major archaeological survey of the Polynesian outliers Futuna and Aniwa and neighbouring islands Tanna and Aneityum would greatly improve our knowledge of settlement patterns, long-distance exchange, and cross-cultural interaction in the region, from initial Lapita settlement 3000 years ago through to the arrival of Christian missionaries in the 1860s.

The project will include archaeological survey and excavation as well as a survey of 19th and early 20th century museum collections, particularly looking at examples of stone and shell exchange valuables from Futuna, Aniwa, Aneityum, Tanna. These objects may provide evidence about connections to neighbouring island groups, including New Caledonia, Fiji, and possibly Western Polynesia.

Adze Blades from Southern Vanuatu, Geddie/Robertson Collection, Nova Scotia Museum (Courtesy of J. Flexner)
Adze Blades from Southern Vanuatu, Geddie/Robertson Collection, Nova Scotia. Museum (Courtesy of J. Flexner)

 

MORE INFORMATION

ARC Selection Report (Discovery Projects)

ARC Funding Announcements (Discovery Projects)

 

IT'S HERE! WELCOME TO THE NEW ASHA WEBSITE!

Corinne Softley & Nicholas Pitt

We are delighted to share with you the newly designed ASHA website, with a bold new look and enhanced navigation experience. With a focus on simplicity, the website aims to provide a more informative experience, through improved research functions, current news and members-area privileges. We invite you to start exploring!

ASHA has had a website since 1995. The first ASHA website was hosted by the University of Sydney. In 2002 the ASHA website moved to its present address: www.asha.org.au. It was then just a few html pages.

In 2009 we launched a new website with a shop for membership and book sales, and we made available the archive of our journal. All but the last five years were free to download; the more recent issues were for members only. At the time, the website was welcomed by members and admired by other societies, but it more recently has been dogged by technical issues. In 2014 we started planning for an all new site to improve access to this rich archive and help the society make new information available.

The original announcement of the first ASHA website in volume 25:4 (1995) the ASHA Newsletter.

The new website layout has been streamlined to give you quick access to the items you are looking for. Most importantly, we have consolidated and organised information on the society, resources (journal, newsletter and publications) and upcoming events.

So what’s new?

  • Improved membership management, order-tracking and login.
  • Clear, user-friendly navigation.
  • The ASHA blog: a new platform for short articles and highlights from the newletter Digital delivery of the newsletter and improved delivery of current news, events and general updates Device compatibility: the website is now compatible with tablet and mobile devices.
  • New logo: One of the most noticeable changes on our new site is the new logo. A shortlist of logo designed was circulated among ASHA members at the end of 2014. Members voted on their favourite, with the most popular logo chosen as the official ASHA logo.
  • Integration of multimedia such as video and image libraries.
  • Integration with social media platforms

We will be rolling out new pages, resources and functions over the coming months, and hope that you enjoy visiting our new website. However, due to the significant changes in the website architecture, we know there may be digital hiccups and you may experience virtual roadblocks along the way. This is where we need your help!

Please email web@asha.org.au if you are experiencing any issues with the website or feel that an aspect of the website should be reviewed or enhanced. We will do our best to perfect your browsing experience.

Going forward, we aim to continually expand our online content and keep you updated with the latest information on Historical Archaeology in Australia and New Zealand. So check back often, and connect with us on your social network through platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus.

You can explore the past versions of the website through the Internet Archive’s historic snapshots: