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ASHA NEWS

Caroline Spry

As part of La Trobe University's 50th Anniversary celebrations, you are warmly invited to ‘Looking back, looking forward for La Trobe Archaeology.' This day-long event will bring together students, staff, alumni and others over four sessions to connect past and present members, showcase La Trobe Archaeology’s research and capabilities, and build pathways for future work opportunities and research-industry collaborations.

The first session will be a panel discussion on career pathways by alumni. The second will include discussion and demonstration of La Trobe Archaeology’s research capabilities and cutting-edge technologies, and how they can facilitate research-industry collaborations. The third session will comprise a conversation with Emeritus Professor David Frankel, Emeritus Professor Jim Allen and Professor Susan Lawrence. In the final session, past and present members and others will have the opportunity to meet and reconnect over light refreshments.

At the conclusion of the day, an informal dinner will be held at The Eagle bar, La Trobe University.

Date: Friday 19th May 2017 (National Archaeology Week 2017)
Time: 9am-5pm
Venue: West Lecture Theatre 2, La Trobe University (Bundoora campus)

Please note that the day event is free, but registration is essential viahttps://latrobe.onestopsecure.com/onestopweb/LTUEv/tran?tran-type=7145

Session 1: Alumni reflections on working in archaeology and cultural heritage management
This session will comprise a panel of alumni from La Trobe Archaeology who will offer their experiences and insights on building a career and working in different spheres of archaeology and cultural heritage, from undergraduate studies to government agencies, archaeological consulting companies, museums, universities, heritage councils, international scientific advisory bodies and beyond.

Session 2: La Trobe Archaeology now – building research-industry collaborations
This session will showcase La Trobe Archaeology’s research capabilities, and discuss how cutting-edge technologies at La Trobe Archaeology can encourage detailed, multifaceted and collaborative approaches to investigating, visualising and preserving our past.

Session 3: A conversation with Emeritus Professor David Frankel, Emeritus Professor Jim Allen and Professor Susan Lawrence
This conversation with Emeritus Professor David Frankel, Emeritus Professor Jim Allen and Professor Susan Lawrence will focus on past, present and future directions of La Trobe Archaeology, and the challenges and opportunities that face students, researchers and professionals in archaeology and cultural heritage management.

Session 4: Looking forward – developing work opportunities and collaborations
The final session provides the opportunity for students, staff, alumni and others to meet, reconnect and create work opportunities and collaborations over light refreshments. Professionals and researchers working in different areas of archaeology and cultural heritage management will also be available for one-on-one discussions about graduate opportunities and research projects.

We would also like to ask if you would like to share any photographs for use in a slideshow at the event, which will be reflecting on students and their experiences at La Trobe, both past and present.

ASHA and Interpretation Australia

Travelling Stories: connecting people and landscapes is the first joint conference of Interpretation Australia and the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology. It aims to bring together people to create a greater understanding for all of the environments in which we live. This will be a conference with a difference, a traveling conference from Launceston to Hobart via key natural and cultural heritage places through Tasmania! The conference will be held between October 10 - 14 2017. A draft program is outlined below:


Tuesday 10 October: Arrive in Launceston – Welcome evening event
Wednesday 11 October: Launceston sessions
Thursday 12 October: Travel day Launceston to Hobart via Midlands
Friday 13 October: Hobart sessions + conference dinner (end of conference)
Saturday 14 October: Optional Hobart site visits or trip to Port Arthur Region

For more information, please see the following links:
ASHA conference page
Interpretation Australia conference page



Catherine Tucker

This cutlery fork that was recovered from excavations of a large rubbish pit at Pentridge Prison, located to the north of Melbourne. The assemblage is thought to date to the mid-nineteenth century and this particular artefact was chosen as a representative example of the many cutlery items recovered during the excavations. It is a utilitarian object that has been modified for use specifically at the prison and was probably used by the inmates.

The metal is now heavily corroded but it has a shaft that extends all the way to the end of the handle. Over the metal handle there are two identically shaped bone lengths that are attached to each side of the fork shaft by three small evenly spaced nails. The bone handle is 14mm wide at the fork end and 20mm at the handle end and is 84mm in length. These dimensions are the same for all of the forks in the assemblage indicating that the cutlery was most likely mass produced in specialist factories rather than made in one of the prison workshops.

On one side of the fork there are roughly carved roman numerals – XXV (25) and numbers such as these were found on all bone handled cutlery in the assemblage. The highest number recovered was LVIII (58), meaning that there were at least 58 objects in the original set. The numerals are deeply incised on the handles and the roughness and variability in style indicate that these marks were probably made at the prison.

These numbered utensils are particularly identifiable as prison or institutional artefacts, places where it was important to keep track of sharp objects, and they reflect the processes involved in managing inmates in nineteenth century prisons.

Catherine Tucker is a part-time PHD student at LaTrobe University who also works as a consultant archaeologist, mostly in Victoria.

 




Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

Members may be interested to explore context posted to a new archaeology and anthropology blog hosted on The Guardian's website, entitled The Past and The Curious. The blog can be found at the following link:

www.theguardian.com


James Flexner

Earlier this year, a new editorial team was assembled to take over the editorship of Australasian Historical Archaeology beginning with the 2018 issue (the 2017 issue is being guest edited by Katherine Watson). The team consists of Annie Clarke and James Flexner from the University of Sydney, and Penny Crook and Sarah Hayes from La Trobe University.

We are very excited about the opportunity to work on and develop this journal, which has been so influential in the region and historical archaeology more generally. We plan to spend 2017 assessing the status of AHA in comparison with like local and international journals — many of which are migrating to large publishing houses— ‘benchmarking’ its content, format, production, delivery, promotion, indexation and reach (citations and ‘impact’), along with other endeavours such as Early Career Researcher (ECR) mentoring. This would provide an evidence-based approach to setting the long-term direction of AHA’s future production and promotion, to ensure it continues to serve the membership and goals of the Society. We plan to prepare a ‘benchmarking’ report to deliver to the Committee in early August, well in advance of the AGM. Of course, we look forward to input and discussion from ASHA membership as AHA continues to evolve as an important forum for publication in historical archaeology in our region and beyond.

Meet the new team:

Anne (Annie) Clarke has over 35 years of experience in archaeological, heritage and museological research. Her research interests include the archaeology of Arnhem Land, the archaeology of cross-cultural engagement and colonialism, rock art and historical mark-making practices, ethnographic collections and objects, community archaeology, narrative archaeology and critical heritage. She has co-edited eight volumes on archaeology, heritage and museum studies, as well as three special journal issues. Her two most recent edited volumes are That was Then, This is Now: Contemporary Archaeology and Material Cultures in Australia (2016) with Ursula Frederick and Object Stories: artifacts and archaeologists with Steve Brown and Ursula Frederick. She is the joint author with Peter Hobbins and Ursula Frederick of Stories from the Sandstone: Quarantine Inscriptions from Australia’s Immigrant Past (2016).

Penny Crook has over 20 years’ experience in historical archaeology as a consultant and academic archaeologist. Her research interests include 19th-century material culture, assemblage analysis, consumer studies, urban archaeology and digital data management. She is currently completing a DECRA fellowship at La Trobe University although she continues to be based in Sydney. She has published several papers and monographs, including a co-authored monograph (with Peter Davies and Tim Murray) in Studies in Australasian Historical Archaeology. A long-standing member of ASHA, she has served in a number of roles including Editorial Assistant, Secretary and Vice President. She is currently Assistant Editor of Post-Medieval Archaeology and on the Editorial Advisory Board of Australian Archaeology.

James Flexner has published widely in international journals and scholarly books. His primary areas of research are historical archaeology, landscape archaeology, and the archaeology of Oceania (including the historical archaeology of Australia). He has also been a regular reviewer for refereed journals, including the International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, and Australasian Historical Archaeology. He has just completed editing a forthcoming volume of the journal Museum Worlds, and will be editing a forum for the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology. His first book, An Archaeology of Early Christianity in Vanuatu, was published by ANU Press in 2016.

Sarah Hayes is a DECRA fellow in Archaeology at La Trobe University. Her research focus is on urban archaeology, comparative artefact analysis, class construction and social mobility. She has published a number of papers along with a monograph in the Studies in Australasian Historical Archaeology series titled Good Taste, Fashion, Luxury: A genteel Melbourne family and their rubbish. Sarah has served for a number of years as book reviews editor for Australasian Historical Archaeology, newsletter editor for the Society for Historical Archaeology and as a reviewer for a number of journals. She has also worked as a tutor at La Trobe University, as an artefact specialist in consulting archaeology and in the management of moveable heritage in the museum and cultural heritage contexts.



Penny Sharpe, Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage

This is just a short note to thank those of you who were able to attend the forum this week celebrating World Heritage Day and the 40th anniversary of the NSW Heritage Act.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley outlined Labor’s Five Point Plan for Heritage Protection, which includes:

1. Develop and deliver the first-ever NSW State Heritage Strategy.
2. Remove the ability of the State Government itself to use the economic hardship provision of the Heritage Act to refuse a building heritage protection.
3. Stop a Heritage Minister ignoring out of hand a recommendation from the Heritage Council to protect a particular place, by introducing a public hearing to allow the advocates for preservation another opportunity to make their case.
4. Restore the Office of Heritage within the Department of Premier and Cabinet so that heritage issues are at the centre of government decision-making.
5. Relocate the Office of the Premier and the Cabinet room to one of Sydney’s pre-eminent public buildings, the Chief Secretary’s building on the corner of Bridge and Macquarie streets.

More detail of this plan can be found in his full speech here.

I also want to thank the other speakers at the forum. They have made available a copy of their speeches:
Meredith Burgmann spoke about the role of the green bans and community action to save buildings, bush and parks across Sydney.
Reece McDougall shared his views about the role of the Heritage Office and the challenges for the future.
Shaun Carter spoke about why the Sirius building court decision will set an important precedent for future heritage protection. Shaun also outlined just how little of our heritage is protected.
Paul Connell outlined how important keeping stonemason and heritage trade skills in the public sector will be into the future.

It was inspiring to see how much interest there was in the forum. I look forward to working with you in the lead-up to 2019 to put more meat on the bones of Labor’s Heritage Policy.



Fenella Atkinson

It is nearly National Archaeology Week – third week in May. Please tell everyone you know, and come along to at least three events in each state. We are posting events as the details come through, so keep an eye on the website and Facebook page:

http://www.archaeologyweek.com
https://www.facebook.com/National-Archaeology-Week-179612978799261/

If you have something planned for NAW, or have any ideas or suggestions, please do get in touch – contact details are:

NSW - Helen Nicholson (nhelen@tpg.com.au)
Qld – Paddy Waterson (paddy.waterson@gmail.com)
SA - Antoinette Hennessy (antoinette.hennessy@flinders.edu.au)
Tas – Sam Dix (samuel.dix@griffithuni.edu.au)
Vic – Caroline Spry (c.spry@latrobe.edu.au)
WA – Wendy Reynen (wa@australianarchaeology.com)
Website / Facebook / Twitter – Luke Kirkwood (luke.kirkwood@gmail.com)
National – me (fenella.atkinson@gmail.com)

Please note that there is not, to my knowledge, any co-ordinator in the Northern Territory. If you are reading this in the NT, tag you’re it no returns, thanks heaps and I look forward to working with you.

Also, keep an ear out for the following chats about NAW among other things on the radio soon – tune in or download the podcasts:

Craig Barker will discuss National Archaeology Week (along with Indiana Jones) in his monthly ‘Can You Dig It’ program with Rhianna Patrick, ABC Radio, 6.30pm, Sunday 23 April 2017 http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/rhiannapatrick/

Lesley Beaumont and James Flexner will be talking about archaeology and National Archaeology Week with Sarah Macdonald on Nightlife, ABC Radio, 9pm Saturday 13 May 2017 http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/



Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

A possible nineteeth century military trench has been discovered during road work excavations at Tauranga, NZ. The trench and the musket balls found within it may be related to other known battle sites in the area, which date between the 1830s and 1860s.

For more information, please see: www.radionz.co.nz



The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria

The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria is a group that promotes the study of archaeology, anthropology, ethno-archaeology and ethno-history in both Australia and further abroad. Lectures, from a range of talented presenters, are held every third Thursday of the month at 6:30pm at the The Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre at 251 Faraday St, Carlton.

Sign up with Eventbrite and we’ll know you’re coming.

For more information, please see: http://aasv.org.au/lectures/


Dr Richard Tuffin, Project Archaeologist, PAHSMA

In the last round of grants awarded by the Australian Research Council, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers was awarded funds for a three year project examining landscapes of convict labour. Titled Landscapes of Production and Punishment: the Tasman Peninsula 1830-77, the project commences in April of this year and will see archaeologists, historians and demographers from the University of New England, the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority, University of Tasmania and University of Liverpool, use the physical landscape and documentary record to engage with the organisation, processes and outputs of convict labour on a scale never-before seen.

The grant is a recognition that the Australian convict story is concerned as much with labour and production as it is with punishment and reform. The gaols, hiring depots, penal stations and work camps, as well as the domestic residences and places of work to which assignees and passholders were tied, remain today as physical expressions of the otherwise invisible forces which shaped convict labour management. Built and continually developed by prisoner labour, these places held workforces governed by an extraordinary mixture of punishment and production aims. Barracks, wards and separate cells held prisoners in between – and sometimes during – their bouts of work. The flogging yards, solitary cells and stone-breaking yards received the unwilling. Interior and exterior spaces were designated as work sites, where shoes were made, metal wrought, stone quarried and timber harvested. These spaces, as well as the men and women within them, were controlled by the built and regulatory environment which surrounded them. Factors at the global, colonial and local scale acted upon these landscapes, affecting their formation and development, as well as the processes and products of prisoner labour within them.

That landscapes of convict labour were formed and shaped by multi-scale forces should not come as a revelation. Setting the places and spaces we study within their proper social, political and economic contexts is just good historical archaeological practice. Archaeologists and historians have commonly worked in synchrony to examine the bigger questions about our convict past, in particular during the post-1980s debates about the relative merits of qualitative and quantitative data to convey the complexities of convict lived experiences. The two fields have particularly worked well together to recover lost convict life narratives. Recently, however, there has been a notable divergence. Historians have tapped further into the massive potential of the datasets, examining and analysing the life-course data of thousands of convicts to draw new conclusions about the lives of prisoners before, during and after their incarceration. There has not been a similar big picture approach from historical archaeologists, who have retained a focus on individual sites and data types. Often a pragmatic response to the very real limitations of funding and time, it has meant that archaeologists have not been able to help shape the direction of the wider debate.

Focussing on the convict stations and sites of the Tasman Peninsula, this ARC project will illustrate how the physical record can be linked to the ‘big data’ approaches taken by the historians. A foundation of the project will be the archaeological surveys of the Port Arthur hinterland and the area around the former Cascades Probation Station (Koonya). Following the successful application of the technique to better understandings of the Coal Mines and Port Arthur Historic Sites, high definition airborne remote sensing (LiDAR) will map the sites associated with the extraction, transport and refinement of the area’s materials during the convict period: the roads, paths, tramways, building sites, saw pits, working platforms. For the first time we will comprehensively and accurately visualise the labour landscape within which Port Arthur and the Cascades Probation Station were situated. This will add to existing and augmented studies of the production centres of the Coal Mines and the Tasman Peninsula’s other probation stations.

The project will show how we can really only begin to understand the experiences of convicts and gaolers alike through an engagement with both the changing physical realities which defined their lives, as well as the intent of the evolving convict system as defined in the historical record. Mapping landscape change across time will be a core focus of the archaeological process, the change reflective of the multi-scale influences shaping convict labour management. This will require a close and thorough reading of the historical sources, through which the form of these influences are best expressed. This project will draw upon the trove of statistical data and correspondence records, allowing better understanding of how the labour landscape developed, as well as the quantities and movement flows of men and materiel. The close linking of the data to the physical landscape will also provide the opportunity to ground-truth the archive. A key component of this will be the analysis of thousands of convict records – many of them previously unavailable in transcript form. The incidental life narratives embodied within such documentary sources can be used to place the people back in the landscape, helping us understand how the built and regulatory environment shaped and was shaped by their experience, at the same time as moulding labour relations between prisoners and administrators.

In addition to the research outcomes throughout the project’s life, we intend to produce a research roadmap for engaging with places of convict labour, providing a model for similar approaches. It will also feed into the continued interpretation of the Tasman Peninsula, an important consideration as the number of visitors coming to the World Heritage-listed site of Port Arthur are only increasing. Through such interpretive means, we can further an understanding that convict places like Port Arthur sat at the heart of complex systems of production and punishment.

Professor Martin Gibbs, University of New England

Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, University of Tasmania

Associate Professor David Roberts, University of New England

Professor Barry Godfrey, University of Liverpool

Dr David Roe, Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority

Dr Jody Steele, Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority

Dr Richard Tuffin, Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority

Susan Hood, Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority