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Willow fragments 
Willow fragments
Author: Helen Nicholson

Commonly found on historical sites in Australia, Willow pattern ceramics have stood the test of time and been produced for the last 230 years. Here are two online Willow pattern jigsaws for you to do [i].

Virtual Jigsaw #1
Photo 1: Virtual Jigsaw 1 https://jigex.com/FY1S

Virtual Jigsaw #2
Photo 2: Virtual Jigsaw 2 https://jigex.com/uYe1

The arts of Asia, and especially China, were extremely influential on art and design in Europe. Chinoiserie styles reached the peak of their popularity in Britain in the 18th century and whether on Chinese porcelain or Staffordshire earthenware are found on Australian historical sites, especially in contexts from the first half of the 19th century.

The late 18th century saw a dramatic increase in the duty charged for Chinese ceramics imported on East India Company ships, shipping disruptions with Napoleonic Wars and America trading directly with China.At the same time, the tax on tea was reduced dramatically in 1784 and a duty imposed on silver plate so by the beginning of the 19th century the popularity of drinking tea grew rapidly in Britain.[ii] Blue and white ceramics and tea were no longer the preserve of the wealthy.

Aspects of Chinese patterns and landscapes first found on imported Chinese porcelain were, by the end of the 18th century, decorating earthenware tableware. Willow pattern was among the first standardised and by the early 19th century a story was ascribed to the pattern.It was believed to be a Chinese story – but it was not. It started to circulate after 1810, but the earliest publication is in The Family Friend in 1849. Published as The Story of the Common Willow-Pattern Plate,this title suggests that Willow pattern had become commonplace.[iii] In 1851, the story was even turned into a play, The Mandarin’s Daughter. [iv]

Essentially the story goes that a Mandarin had a beautiful daughter, Koong-Se, who fell in love with the Mandarin’s secretary, Chang. He was banished as he was considered unworthy of a Mandarin’s daughter and her father arranged for her to marry a nobleman.At the celebrations of her betrothal, Koong-Se and Chang met and eloped.Her father caught sight of them and gave chase but they escaped and hid in the house of a maid who the Mandarin had dismissed for conspiring to help the lovers. When their whereabouts became known, they escaped in a boat to a distant island. Chang, however, became famous for his writings and the Mandarin sent guards who killed him. Koong-Se set fire to their house while she was inside so both perished. Touched by their love, the gods immortalised them as two doves eternally flying in the sky together [v].


[i] Thanks to the help from Nick Pitt with the jigsaws.

[ii] R. Copeland, 1990, Spode’s Willow Pattern and other designs after the Chinese, Cassell, London

[iii] Spode and Willow Pattern https://spodehistory.blogspot.com/2013/06/spode-and-willow.html

[iv] P. O’Hara, 1993, The Willow pattern that we knew: The Victorian Literature of Blue Willow, Victorian Studies, Vol 36 No. 4, Indiana University Press, 421 – 442, 427 www.jstor.org/stable/3828644

[v] http://www.thepotteries.org/patterns/willow.html



Author: Alison Frappell

Education and Interpretation Officer, Sydney Harbour YHA and the Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre

Celebrating 25 Years since The Big Dig excavations in 1994, a new documentary titled ‘Archaeology at The Big Dig’ explores how an archaeological site can give special insights into understanding the history of The Rocks and Sydney.

The documentary ‘stars’ many people who are familiar to ASHA members, including Professors Richard Mackay and Grace Karskens, Dr Wayne Johnson and Committee members Helen Nicholson and Alison Frappell.

The documentary will be shown on Monday 27th April 2020 at 4.00pm on SBS One as part of their special public holiday programming. What better way to spend half an hour on a public holiday afternoon under the COVID-19 shutdown?


Following the first broadcast, the documentary will be viewable on the SBS On Demand platform, just in case you miss it first time around.

The documentary was funded through contributions made by guests staying at Sydney Harbor YHA, and created with the film making expertise and collaborative approach of the Art of Multimedia team.

ASHA events
Daniel J. Leahy, University of New England, Armidale, NSW

In late February 2020, two service trenches were dug across Curtis Park, which is located along the Dumaresq Creek in central Armidale, NSW. The trenches are believed to be works associated with the initial developments of a current million-dollar project which will see a section of the park converted into a regional playground (Green 2019). In the process of digging these trenches, numerous historical artefacts – including broken glass, broken ceramics, and iron nails – were removed from their context and strewn across the publicly accessible surface of Curtis Park. This situation mobilised members of the University of New England (UNE) Archaeology Society to volunteer their time to conduct field-walking surveys in early March in an effort to identify and record these artefacts. During this process the risk these artefacts posed to the public (jagged metal/glass/ceramic etc), as well as the risk to the artefacts themselves through surface exposure or trampling, was highlighted and the decision taken to systematically recover the artefacts from the surface of the park.

IMAGE 1 – Front view of Lea & Perrins’ glass bottle stopper that was located on the surface of Curtis Park, Armidale, NSW, March 2020 (M. Zarb).IMAGE 1 – Front view of Lea & Perrins’ glass bottle stopper that was located on the surface of Curtis Park, Armidale, NSW, March 2020 (M. Zarb).

IMAGE  2 – Side view of Lea & Perrins’ glass bottle stopper that was located on the surface of Curtis Park, Armidale, NSW, March 2020 (M. Zarb).IMAGE 2 – Side view of Lea & Perrins’ glass bottle stopper that was located on the surface of Curtis Park, Armidale, NSW, March 2020 (M. Zarb).

European use of the site dates back to about 1846 when John Trim, a former convict , built a store along the North Road near the ford crossing the creek (Gibbs 2019:3). In 1927 the site was named ‘Curtis Park’ after one of Armidale’s prior mayors, William Curtis (1858-1934) (The Armidale Express 13 Dec. 1927:6; Armidale Regional Council 2017). The area was prone to flooding, with damaging floods reported to have occurred in 1863, 1893, and during the early 1950s (The Armidale Express 4 Apr. 1863:2, 14 Mar. 1893:4, 9 Oct. 1950:6), and required subsequent levelling through the import of landfill. In October 2019, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey of the park was conducted by Professor Martin Gibbs and volunteers from UNE, in collaboration with the Armidale Regional Council, as a student training exercise (Gibbs 2019:2). This survey located a buried compressed surface which, when aligned with historical maps, was interpreted as being the historic North Road, which ran roughly northeast through the park (Gibbs 2019:11-14). Due to these results, and the fact that a number of artefacts were found on the surface of the park during the GPR survey, it was recommended that ‘the area still contains significant archaeological deposits that should be preserved and interpreted’ (Gibbs 2019:14). However, to the best of the author’s knowledge at the time of writing, no formal archaeological consultancy or additional archaeological investigation has been conducted at the site.

One of the artefacts recovered during the March 2020 survey was a - small glass bottle stopper measuring approximately 31mm long and 25mm at its maximum diameter, with the brand name ‘LEA & PERRINS’ embossed on its top. Lea & Perrins was formed in Worcester, England, in 1837 when John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins began selling their newly created Worcestershire Sauce and, by the 1850s, the condiment was being exported to all parts of the British Empire (Lea & Perrins n.d.). Plain corks were initially used to seal the sauce bottles, but by about the 1840s Lea & Perrins adopted a glass stopper with a cork-wrapped shank, which continued to be used until it was replaced by a patented polyethelene pour plug and plastic screw-type closure in the late 1950s (Lunn 1981:3). Today, the sauce continues to be exported to over 130 countries (Lea & Perrins n.d.).

IMAGE 3 – Two styles of Lea & Perrins’ glass stoppers have been located in archaeological contexts at Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan, Canada (reproduced from Lunn 1981:4). The stopper located in Curtis Park is most similar to the style depicted on the right.

IMAGE 3 – Two styles of Lea & Perrins’ glass stoppers have been located in archaeological contexts at Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan, Canada (reproduced from Lunn 1981:4). The stopper located in Curtis Park is most similar to the style depicted on the right.

While a number of other artefacts have been located during the recent field-walking surveys, the Lea & Perrins’ bottle stopper has so far proven to be the most iconic. Once the brand name was read aloud while on site, all those taking part in the exercise immediately understood its connection to the condiment still sold at local supermarkets. The artefact has been robbed of its context through the digging of the service trench, and therefore it is impossible to say whether it is directly related to events which took place at the site in the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, or whether it was redeposited in landfill when the park was levelled at some point during the mid-late twentieth century. It has, however, given a handful of archaeology students and volunteers a brief glimpse into the past lives of those in Armidale region, while remaining as a tangible connection to the present.

IMAGE 4 – Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce available to purchase in an Armidale supermarket, March 2020 (D.J. Leahy).

IMAGE 4 – Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce available to purchase in an Armidale supermarket, March 2020 (D.J. Leahy).

Thanks to Dr Mark Moore, Dr James Roberts, Julie Harm, Peter O’Donohue, and Meaghan ‘May’ Zarb for taking part in various aspects of this exercise. Thanks also to Professor Martin Gibbs, Jeanne Harris, and Emma Watt for sharing their expertise and knowledge. It is hoped that a more complete paper documenting the historical artefacts located at Curtis Park will be published in a future volume of Australasian Historical Archaeology.

REFERENCES

THE ARMIDALE EXPRESS

ARMIDALE REGIONAL COUNCIL 2017, ‘William Curtis’, https://www.armidaleregional.nsw.gov.au/our-region/history-and-heritage/mayors-of-the-region/armidale-city-council/william-curtis, accessed 12 March 2020.

GIBBS, M. 2019, Ground Penetrating Radar Survey, Curtis Park, Trim’s Store Site, Armidale. Unpublished report prepared for the Armidale Regional Council, October 2019.

GREEN, S. 2019, ‘Armidale’s Curtis Park super playground a year with little to show’, The Armidale Express, 17 September 2019, https://www.armidaleexpress.com.au/story/6389851/million-dollar-super-playground-hard-to-get-off-the-ground/, accessed 11 March 2020.

LEA & PERRINS n.d., ‘Our story’, Lea & Perrins UK, https://www.leaandperrins.co.uk/our-story, accessed 11 March 2020.

LUNN, K. 1981, ‘Identification and dating of Lea and Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce bottles on Canadian historic sites: Interpretations past and present’, Canadian Journal of Archaeology 5:1-17.

 

Queen Street umbrella components picture 1 
Queen Street umbrella components picture 2
Author: Bronwyn Woff

Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants

A group of umbrella/parasol fragments were recovered from the site of 1-5 Queen Street, Melbourne (H7822-1871) during excavations undertaken by Extent Heritage in 2018.

The site’s European history (Clark et al. 2019) starts in 1837, beginning with Pitman’s Store (a small building from which Frederick Pittman, a key trader of early Melbourne, ran a store) and a residence set back from the street. This was followed by a candle and soap works factory (Rae, Dickson & Co), which occupied the site from the 1840s to 1872. This factory then demolished, and a new building housing a range of shipping-related businesses was constructed in 1872. In 1911, the building was purchased by the Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company and was used as their Victorian headquarters until the 1950s. In 1955, the building was purchased by Fletcher Jones & Co for a retail store and was used for this purpose until 2011 (Clark et al, 2019).

The artefact collection was catalogued by Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants, and included a total of 6674 artefact fragments. Of particular interest were a group of artefacts excavated from what was interpreted by the excavators as a filtering tank, possibly for lye leeching, which is part of the candle making process. The artefacts recovered from the tank represent a one-off fill event, which most likely occurred at the time of the closing and abandonment of the candle and soap factory and before the new structures were constructed in 1872. The artefacts were probably deposited in the late 1860s or early 1870s, as none of the artefact manufacturing start dates are later than 1870 (Woff, Williamson & Biagi, 2019).

Queen Street umbrella components picture 3

Photo 1: Umbrella/parasol fragments from 1-5 Queen Street, Melbourne (Image supplied: Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants)

The tank context contained an interesting group of artefacts, which included nine fragments of composite umbrella/parasol stretchers (representing eight complete umbrella/parasol stretchers, enough for one complete umbrella/parasol) and three fragments of organic/wooden umbrella ribs, which were round in profile. The context also contained a large quantity (n=278) of textile fragments, which have at least three different weave styles, some of which may be associated with the umbrella/parasol (Woff, Williamson & Biagi, 2019).  

Parts of an umbrella

Photo 2: Parts of an umbrella (Image from: https://www.goinginstyle.com/blogs/news/parts-of-an-umbrella )

Umbrellas are multi-part objects, and a simple umbrella/parasol can include up to 112 different parts (Hooper 2016: 30-31). These parts can be made from a range of materials including, but not limited to: wood, textiles, metals, baleen and ivory (Hooper 2016: 1). Our fragments are comprised of a range of materials. The stretchers are composite, made from iron alloy, copper alloy and a wood-like organic material. The ribs are made from the same wood-like organic material, which may be cane or a similar material. Hooper suggests that baleen “was the primary material used for ribs until 1852” when steel ribs were invented that were much lighter and stronger (2016: 8), however, both materials were shaped to be flat or rectangular in section (Hooper 2016: 8), whereas our fragments are round. The textiles recovered from this context were not obviously related to an umbrella or parasol by style or construction, but some may be associated with the umbrella fragments recovered.

fashion plate

Photo 3: Fashion plate showing umbrella (Image from: https://vintagedancer.com/victorian/lace-victorian-parasol-and-umbrellas-for-sale/ )

The terms umbrella and parasol were used interchangeably in 19th century advertising (Hooper 2016: 24 – 30). These items were seen as “primarily public objects, used to shield their bearers from the elements encountered when venturing outside. These objects function in images as fashionable and practical tools, mediating the relationship between individuals and their rural or urban surroundings” (Hooper 2016: 166). Although the reason for the discard of this object is unknown, this group of artefacts links to ideas of fashion and domestic life, and provides a glimpse in to the fashions of early urban Melbourne in the 1860s.

References:

Clark, C, Douglas, P, Petkov, B & Rubio Perez, R 2019. 1–5 Queen Street, Melbourne (H7822-1871) Historical Archaeological Excavation Report HV #4930. Prepared by Extent Heritage for Hutchinson Builders.

Hooper, R 2016. Out of the shade: uncovering the manufacture and use of umbrellas and parasols, 1830 -1840. Masters Thesis submitted for the University of Delaware.

Woff, B, Williamson, C & Biagi, C 2019, Artefact Report 1 – 5 Queen Street, Melbourne (H7822-1871). Prepared for Extent Heritage

Going in Style 2017, Parts of an umbrella, image, Going In Style, viewed 12 Februaru 2020 < https://www.goinginstyle.com/blogs/news/parts-of-an-umbrella >

Buck, A, 1961, Fashion plate showing umbrella, image, Vintage Dancer, viewd 13 February 2020 < https://vintagedancer.com/victorian/lace-victorian-parasol-and-umbrellas-for-sale/ >

 

Compiled by Jane Rooke

NSW Heritage Library Online

For those who are not aware the Heritage Library of NSW now has thousands of items available on line. These include conservation management plans, archaeological reports, heritage studies, thematic studies and histories.

Follow the link below, go to advanced search and enjoy.

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/Heritage/research/library.htm

Don’t forget to come up for air every now and then.

 
Compiled by Charlotte Feakins

Below is the last bursary recipients report on the 2019 conference. Thanks to all the recipients for submitting their thoughts on the conference. I think we are all looking forward to the 2020 conference in Melbourne!

This year’s ASHA conference at Port Macquarie showcased a range of fascinating projects from researchers, students and heritage professionals. I particularly enjoyed the opening presentation by keynote speaker Richard Shing who provided a thought-provoking account of colonial heritage in Vanuatu. This was followed by the lively ASHA Speed Trials—an informative and amusing start to the conference.

Over the two days, sessions were themed into settler-indigenous relations, war and fences, convicts, people and place, colonial artefacts, new approaches and heritage management with most sessions hosting around four papers. For me, the broad variety of projects and approaches among, and within, sessions highlighted the scope of historical archaeology—its unique capacity to illuminate the past through multiple lines of evidence, from the micro to the macro level.

In conclusion, the ASHA conference was a fantastic experience. The people were friendly and supportive and the papers and posters were engaging. I would like to thank ASHA for awarding me with a bursary to attend, I’m already looking forward to ASHA 2020.

 
Compiled by Daniel J. Leahy

Daniel was another of the bursary recipients and his thoughts on the conference are below.  

 

As Armidale has been suffering from a drought for a number of months, it was great to see both green grass and blue water – the time away also gave me a few days of relaxation. I was interested by a number of papers presented at the conference. Gordon Grimwade’s paper on the WWII heritage of Horn Island in Queensland, a site which I’m including in my own PhD research, was extremely interesting and gave me some insight to an area I’m yet to visit. As the President of the University of New England (UNE) Archaeology Society, it was also great to see papers presented by current and former UNE students such as Caitlyn D’Gluyas, Karen Filewood, and Crystal Phillips. Though the standout paper for me was Matthew Kelly’s presentation on Papua New Guinean carriers during WWII, especially regarding the Orokaiva people, whose land I have visited numerous times over the past 20 years (my grandmother’s brother-in-law was killed in Oro Province during the fighting of early 1943).

However, the most rewarding aspect of attending the 2019 ASHA Conference had to be the social connections that were made. For me this included both catching up with old friends and colleagues and also making new connections or receiving new tips about additional sites for my PhD project. To me, this is what such conferences are about – the collaboration and sharing of ideas and information. It was also interesting to see what aspects and ideas people wanted to discuss about both my own presentation and a poster I had compiled for the conference.

I will admit that when the venue of the 2019 ASHA Conference was announced I was disappointed. While I understand that Port Macquarie is indeed an historic area and relatively central in New South Wales, as a non-driver it meant a 12+ hour rail journey – each way – even from the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale. Furthermore, with another annual archaeology conference commencing literally days after the end of the ASHA Conference it meant that I would be unable to attend both. Ultimately, as my current PhD project aligns with historical archaeology, I opted to attend the ASHA Conference. Additionally, as a colleague was also attending, I was able to hitch a ride, ultimately saving me from the long rail journeys. Others had expressed similar feelings about the conference in the lead up to the event, so I was a tad dubious about how it would turn out, but ultimately I am glad that I was able to attend. During the conference it was announced that the 2020 ASHA Conference will be held in Melbourne. I am thoroughly looking forward to next year’s conference, as it is close to my ‘home turf’ and I am planning to conduct fieldwork in Victoria in the near future. So I hope to have lots to share at the upcoming conference.

 
Compiled by Jenna Walsh (1), and Angela Gurr (2)

(1) Honours student, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University. Chairperson, NASC 2019

(2) PhD candidate, Biological Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy Research Unit, The University of Adelaide. National Committee member, NASC 2019.

The 2019 National Archaeology Student Conference has drawn to a close after four successful and engaging days. NASC was hosted this year by Flinders University students at Flinders’ Adelaide CBD campus from October 1-4. The Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology (ASHA) generously sponsored this event, along with other industry associations including AAA and AACAI. NASC is an annual event organised by students, for students, and relies heavily upon industry engagement and financial support.

Interstate delegates from the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, Macquarie University, The University of Sydney, Australian National University and the University of Western Australia joined local students from Flinders University and The University of Adelaide to network and share research. The 2019 Committee, chaired by Flinders University honours student Jenna Walsh, created a welcoming, professional and inclusive environment, in keeping with the 2019 theme, ‘The Future of Our Past: innovation, inclusion and interdisciplinary research’. The conference aimed to address current trends in our field and celebrate people of different abilities, ethnicities, gender and socioeconomic status coming together to do archaeology and innovate new techniques. A wide variety of student research and fieldwork experiences were shared via podium, art and poster presentations, with specialties including Indigenous, historical and maritime archaeology, osteoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, archaeological science and Ancient Studies featured.

Special guest Richard Osgood (UK) delivered the opening keynote speech ‘The catharsis of trauma – archaeology as wellbeing’. Richard is the Senior Archaeologist with the British Ministry of Defence and co-founder of Operation Nightingale, an initiative which employs archaeological fieldwork to assist the recovery of service personnel and wounded veterans. He shared his knowledge and experience in an inspiring and engaging hour that went all too fast. Dr Mitchell Allen, of UC Berkeley and the Smithsonian Institution, presented his 40 years’ experience as an academic publisher, and his valuable insights on the digital revolution and its impact on archaeological publishing. In addition to his archaeological career, Mitchell runs Scholarly Roadside service, a publishing consulting company. Dr Georgia Roberts from ANCATL introduced the new National Skills Passport initiative to a South Australian audience for the first time, and research by staff at Flinders University was featured during a delightful Wednesday evening session at which members of the archaeological public enjoyed local wines and specially prepared cheese platters. A leisurely sunset dinner cruise on board the MV Dolphin Explorer at Port Adelaide concluded the conference on Friday evening

The major award for NASC 2019, The Flinders University Archaeological Society Award, was presented to Isaac Roberts of Macquarie University for his research into misuse and repatriation of Indigenous artefacts in institutional art collections. In addition to their general sponsorship, ASHA generously contributed a prize of $80 for excellence in presenting internationally themed work, which was given to Iona Claringbold of ANU for her impressive research into zooarchaeology in Polynesia. Iona’s research focussed on the significance of pig-human interactions on Aniwa. Keynotes Richard Osgood and Mitchell Allen judged the awards and were impressed by the high standard of student work in Australia: “I should come to student conferences more often! This is just wonderful!” Mitchell said.

Information and a gallery of images from NASC 2019 may be found via www.nascaustralia.com. The 2019 committee is in the process of selecting a university to hold the next conference.

Sponsorship interests: NASC 2019 was generously supported by Australian Archaeological Association, Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc., The College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University, Dr Claire Smith, Dr Daryl Wesley, Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology, Comber Consultants, Integrated Heritage Services, CAA Australasia, Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies, Scarp Archaeology, Neale Draper and Associates, the South Australian Maritime Museum, Australian Heritage Services, and Flinders University Archaeological Society.

 

 

Compiled by Gordon Grimwade

Gordon was another of the bursary recipients for the conference last month. You can read his thoughts on the conference below.

 

Any conference that can produce fascinating papers on brothels, stone walls, buffalo shooters, Vanuatu and perpetrators of domestic violence has met its goals. The 2019 ASHA conference at Port Macquarie again provided opportunities for historical archaeologists to exchange ideas and knowledge while interweaving it with invaluable networking over culturally appropriate beverages.

As usual the field trips stimulated ongoing discussion. Many of us would love to welcome seeing Innes House made more accessible and interpreted to the level of its significance. Several tour participants who later saw the model of Innes House in the Port Macquarie Museum remarked on the complexity of this icon of opulence, ego, technology and money.

The three minute presentations proved popular even though, according to well informed sources, a couple at least were artfully cobbled together only the day before. Once again the diversity of topics was little short of amazing. Only at an ASHA conference could Qantas, an artist’s studio, a bung jar and a wire fence tensioner demonstrate any commonality.

A quarter of the presenters of the traditional papers were students. I’m not sure if the committee did it intentionally but virtually every session followed the 1:3 ratio. ASHA conferences are a great opportunity for students to highlight their projects and to get feedback on their work.

Several excellent papers were of archaeological interest while others were almost pure history in their content. In some ways that is hardly surprising as we are historical archaeologists but it makes me wonder if we should be looking at a combined conference with the Professional Historians Association at some stage as they have overlapping interests.

Finally, my congratulations and thanks to the organizing committee and the local volunteers, including Mitch and the ladies who manned the registration and book sales desk.

Compiled by Greg Hil

The 2019 ASHA conference bursary recipients have provided us with a short report on their experience of the conference. We start with words from Greg Hil.

This year’s ASHA conference at Port Macquarie was, as many others will undoubtedly agree, a well-executed affair along a beautiful section of Australian coast.

The venue, the Glasshouse, was built atop the archaeological remains of a nineteenth-century penal settlement and thus embodied-well this year’s theme of ‘Colonial Futures’. That is, the ways in which Australasia’s colonial past continues to manifest itself both in the archaeological record and our lives today.

Starting things off was an acknowledgement of the region’s deep human past through a much-enjoyed Welcome to Country by Uncle Bill of the Birpai LALC. Over the two days of talks, uninitiated attendees were given a detailed account of Port Macquarie’s rich colonial history by local archaeologists and speakers. A personal highlight was Crystal Phillips’ overview of the port’s historical cemetery (1824-1886), which was well worth a visit.

Further afield, presenters covered topics that ranged from dry stone walls in South Australia (John Pickard), to the slums of Melbourne and Buenos Aires (Pamela Ricardi), and juvenile convicts of Point Puer, Tasmania (Caitlin D’Gluyas).

Drinks, as well as good food and conversation, were enjoyed by many at local pubs and restaurants in the afterhours of each day’s sessions. Georgia Roberts’ thought-provoking introduction of the Australian archaeological skills passport was no-doubt included in more than a few of those discussions.

The conference dinner at Zebu Waterfront Restaurant had good attendance and was an enjoyable ending to my first ASHA conference experience.

The three best paper/poster prizes were well-deserved, and were each personal favourites, including Nadia Bajzelj’s fascinating paper on Melbourne’s brothels (best paper), Charlotte Feakin’s masterful overview of the buffalo shooting industry of Northern Territory (best student paper; I had no idea that once existed in Australia!), and an informative poster on colonial shipwrecks off the coast of Sydney by Connor McBrian, Milly Bendell, and Benjamin Wharton (best poster).

I am already looking forward to next year’s conference in Melbourne, which, marking the 50th anniversary of ASHA, should be a ripper!