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ASHA NEWS



Compiled by Alison Frappell and Blog Editor

Recent excavations in Paramatta have revealed the remains of the basement of the historic Wheatsheaf Hotel which was built in 1801, and opened only 12 years after Sydney was settled by Europeans. The excavation also uncovered remnants of a wheelwrights workshop and convict cabin, and a bakery, as well as associated artefacts. The site is being preserved, with the a new high rise development above it altering designs to allow for public access to the site. For more information, see the below links:

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/

https://www.archaeology.org/news/

https://www.9news.com.au/national/

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/



Alison Frappell

On Friday 1 December 2017 we were pleased to welcome Prof Daniel Schávelzon and Dr Patricia Frazzi to The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre, following their afternoon tour of The Rocks with Dr Wayne Johnson. We were delighted that the Argentinian Consul-General in Sydney, Mr Hector Raul Pelaez, was also able to join us.


Prof Daniel Schávelzon, Dr Patricia Frazzi and Dr Wayne Johnson

Prof Schávelzon and Dr Frazzi gave our members a fascinating talk about their work on the excavations of a Nazi hideout or refuge complex (image below), deep in the jungle of what is now Teyú Cuaré Park, Misiones, in Argentina. Prof Schávelzon explored the complex of three main buildings and several ancillary buildings, noting how the buildings were constructed by local labour interpreting Germanic designs and construction methods.

Four garbage pits were excavated with thousands of artefacts found, dating the site to the 1940s - 1950s, as well as a collection of coins (image below) from various German-occupied European nations.

An intriguing pit, which initially the team thought may be a grave, showed evidence of burial of an object, a cubic metre in size, which at some later point was retrieved. A belt with a Spanish military buckle (image below) belonging to General Franco’s army, in use till 1975, was deliberately buried when the pit was refilled.

Prof Schávelzon explored how the lack of historical records was ameliorated by a wealth of local stories, including building materials being reused in local housing. However, he noted that some of those local memories turned out to be recollections from newspaper and magazine articles from 1976 when the site was rediscovered, and commented on how recent international media has picked out the storyline it finds most newsworthy. The practice of historical archaeology plays a very important role in better understanding such curious sites.


Dr Frazzi recounted how her team worked in very difficult conditions to conserve significant but extremely fragile artefacts (image above), showing the remarkable transformation of matted lumps of paper into a page of newspaper and a postcard of Hitler and Mussolini. Their careful research on unusual finds, such as a fragment of expensive lamp glass from Germany, was most impressive.

For those who weren’t able to make the talk a copy of the IJHA paper about the excavations is available here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10761-017-0442-1



Dr Iain Stuart, JCIS Consultants

In 1884 the Crown Lands Act divided New South Wales into three divisions; Eastern, Central and Western. This was not some whimsical classical elusion to the Gallic Wars but the outcome of deliberation on the results of Free Selection since its introduction in 1861. Free selection was established in the various states throughout Australia as a way of establishing a class of “Yeoman farmers” to form a solid buttress against the squatters and to bring land considered underutilised into production.

In New South Wales the legislation introduced in 1861 clarified the tenure of the Squatters, who held most of their land as leasehold and allowed free selection of up to 640 acres before survey. The farm size of 640 acres was deemed as suitable for a small farm.

In 1883, a major review of the working of the Lands Acts in New South Wales, the so-called Morris Rankin report, recognised that it was difficult to apply one size of holding over land that varied in quality, environment and distance to markets, all critical factors in making a farm viable. They proposed the split into three divisions across NSW with varying regulations applying in each division.

The Crown Lands Act (1884) followed the recommendations of the Morris Rankin report although with some amendments and created the three divisions based on the boundaries of the Land Districts created in 1883 under the previous act (Lands Acts Amendment Act, 1875). Selection within the Eastern division still retained the 640 acre upper limit but within the Central division and upper limit of 2560 acres was allowed. Selection was prohibited in the Western Division except that special areas could be created to allow selection if required.

In the research for my Ph D. thesis I could never find a map of the three divisions except for the one used in the Morris Rankin report which was altered by the legislation. In a fit of GIS inspired enthusiasm I recently decided to make one. The first thing I located was a boundary of NSW – these shapefiles are readily available from varying sources, mine was sourced from PSMA (surprisingly they are all identical).

In NSW, Spatial Services portal leads you to a site called Clip n Snip where you can essentially clip a section out of the NSW Digital Topographical Data Base or Digital Cadastral Data Base and download the results in the form of shapefiles. This used to be a paid service but about a year ago it was unexpectedly made free with the result being I spent a fortnight downloading the whole State (you are now limited to 5 downloads per day!) This gave me access to useful things such as shapefiles representing Counties Parishes and Land Districts which are part of the Digital Cadastral Data Base. Note I also added the pre-federation boundaries of the Counties of Cowley and Murray, now partly in the ACT.


Figure 1. The three Divisions of NSW showing elevation and drainage.

Mapping the Western Division was easy as the main boundaries were the State boarder and then along main rivers. These were able to be traced in ArcGIS. There was an odd gap and that needed to be mapped using historical county plans either available from TROVE or from the Historical Land Records Viewer (found on the LPI site). The counties could easily be imported into ArcGIS and georeferenced to the County shapefiles. The location of the division boundaries was marked on County and Parish plans in dashed lines. It was relatively easy to trace these.

The Central Division was easily started by tracing the boundary of the Western Division and then the north and south State boundaries. However the eastern boundary was more difficult to establish. The reason being that it changed as the Land Districts boundaries were changed. This caused some head scratching around the general areas east of Gundagai and Wagga Wagga. To overcome this,  once I realised what had happened, was to use the 1890 Parish maps to map the boundary. These can be downloaded from the Historical Land Records Viewer and georeferenced to the Parish shapefiles and the original boundaries plotted.

The Eastern Division was completed using the Auto trace features of ArcGIS. I might note that it used the County boundaries largely as someone else had digitised them and presumably had decided what was the location of the High Flood Level of the Murray River and the HWM of the coast, both issues when establishing the boundaries of NSW.

I have presented some the maps of the three divisions. The first one (Figure 1, above) uses the 1:250000 map sheet contours and the second one (Figure 2, below) uses a DEM that I found on the Mines website as a digital download and clipped to the state boundary. Both really show the differences in elevation, terrain and to some extent drainage between the three divisions.


Figure 2. The three Divisions of NSW over a the Digital elevation map of NSW

Like all illustrations maps are heuristic devices and as soon as you look at them there are questions. For me the question is one of boundaries – in the south there is an area that looks like it should be in the Western Division. Actually this is roughly centred on Hay. There is another area of the Western Division that looks as if it could fit into the Central division – this is the Cobar area. If you are so inclined you can ask why?

What happened next? The third figure shows this. Using the distribution of grain silos as an analogue for grain growing areas, the location of NSW’s primary grain growing areas can be seen and they all fit more or less neatly into the Central Division and more particularly the elevated areas of the Central division.


Figure 3. The Divisions of NSW and railway and grain silo distribution.

Historically we know that the grain growing areas of NSW moved west, and that this was accompanied by a shift in demand for harder wheats, and that the famous Federation wheat was developed in the late 1890s mainly by William Farrer to fit into the new environment. We can see that being in the Central Division farm sizes potentially could be greater allowing more economies of scale in production. So a suite of changes occurred to allow the development of NSW’s wheat belt.

To return to the original purpose of the project I now have a map of the Land divisions, and I can return to the discussion of the effectiveness or otherwise of the Crown Lands Act (1884) which I began in my Ph. D. thesis.

I am happy to discuss this further or provide the Land Divisions file in gdb or shp format. Contact Iain_Stuart@optusnet.com.au

References

New South Wales. Inquiry into the State of Public Lands Operation of the Land Laws. (1883). Report of Inquiry into the State of the Public Lands and the Operation of the Land Laws / instituted 8th January 1883. (Parliamentary paper (New South Wales. Parliament); 1883). Sydney: Thomas Richards, Government Printer.

Stuart, Iain M 2000, ‘Squatting landscapes in Southeastern Australia (1820-1895)’, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sydney.

Spatial Data

Note: citing spatial data is a slightly tricky process as there are limited guidelines on how to do it and often the metadata is difficult to convert into a citation.

Geological Survey of NSW 2016, Digital elevation map of NSW, First edition. Scale 1:1 500 000, Projection: Lambert Conical Conformal, Geological Survey of NSW, Maitland.

NSW, Department of Finance Digital Cadastral Data Base, accessed (January 2017)

PSMA Australia 2016, 'Administrative Boundaries', Projection GDA 94, PSMA Australia, Griffith, Canberra



Bronwyn Woff

This month’s Artefact of the Month an interesting looking bulk ink bottle with multiple impressed marks found on its body and base. This bottle was found on a historic excavation in the north of Melbourne’s CBD. It was excavated during works for a multi-story apartment building, from a c1850s+ light industrial site.


The ink bottle is made from stoneware, with a light brown salt glaze, and has an unusual square-shaped finish and spout. It stands 205mm tall, and has a diameter of 90mm. The bottle is well marked, with two makers marks (17 / DOULTON / LAMBETH and 3 / DOULTON / LAMBETH) on the base and on the body near the base respectively, as well as a registration diamond (IV / 28 / 9 Rd V / W) representing 28 March 1876 on the body near the base.

The two Doulton / Lambeth marks on the base and body of the bottle indicate that it was made by Doulton & Co. The company began as a partnership in the early 1800s, and worked from a pottery in Lambeth. From 1854 the company became Doulton and Co, and began using marks similar to those seen on this artefact. The company was granted a Royal Warrant in 1901, and from 1902 began adding ‘Royal’ to their mark, as well as a crown and lion (http://thepotteries.org/allpotters/356.htm).


Registration diamond marks such as these were used to denote that the design of an object, or the design of the decoration (for example, ceramic or textile patterns) were copyrighted to the designer. The diamond itself notes the date that the registration occurred, and therefore marks only a start date for that object. For more information on registration diamonds on ceramics, see A. Brooks An Archaeological Guide to British Ceramics in Australia 1788-1901 2005:74 which was published by The Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology and The La Trobe University Archaeology Program (although out-of-print, the complete book is available as a download for all current ASHA members through the members portal HERE).



The National Trust of Australia (Queensland)

Advocacy Alert – Lutwyche and Corinda The National Trust of Australia (Queensland) has requested a Stop Order, under Division 3, Section 154, of the Queensland Heritage Act, 1992 for two approved development applications at Lutwyche, Brisbane (DA #A004628058 and DA #A004756525). The two Development Applications relate to the property addresses of:

  • 32 LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 33 LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 36 LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 36A LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 37 LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 39 LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 30 THALIA CT CORINDA QLD 4075; and
  • 39 LOWERSON ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030.

A request has been made for a Stop Order to prohibit work from starting on the stated activity contained in the two Development Applications.

22 December 2017
Letter to the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef: Request to make Stop Order under the Queensland Heritage Act, 1992
Attachment A – 15 November 2017 – DEHP Letter of Support
Attachment B – 11 June 2010 – Letter from Office of the Lord Mayor Brisbane

The Threat: Earlier this year, Brisbane City Council approved via Code Assessable Development the proposed 8-storey retirement village on the property adjoining Conon. Conan, built in 1863 and lies to the east of Lutwyche Road. Unfortunately, heritage provisions were not triggered because the QHR listed boundary is not “adjacent” to the development site (under the, it has to be adjacent for the development to impact assessable). The grass lawn court has an adjoining boundary – but because it was owned by someone else when the QHR listing took place, it was not included in the heritage listed boundary.

Because the development was considered code assessable, there was no public notification of the project and the owners of Conon were not informed, nor were any other adjoining neighbours. There was no Statement of Heritage Impact prepared, thus the development was not designed to be sympathetic to Conon.

The development comprises a very large 8-storey retirement facility with most of the bulk and height on the side adjoining Conon. It will be clearly visible from inside the house and from within the grounds. It will tower behind the main elevation of Conon and significant views within the garden will be lost and overshadowed.

Trust Stance: The National Trust of Australia (Queensland) encourages careful development with good design – we showcase the results of this with our annual Heritage Awards. We understand that most developments are balancing a myriad of issues and constraints and we welcome a collaborative approach with developers to assist with refining their designs so that the significance of our heritage is no adversely impacted by development.

We are not opposed to a retirement facility being built on the proposed site. However, we believe that the proposed development should have impact assessable so that the significance of Conon and its setting is retained and not negatively affected.

The National Trust of Australia (Queensland) believes that Brisbane City Council’s method of approving this development via code assessable development and involving no notification or public notification should not have occurred. We recommend that a Stop Order be placed on the proposed development by the Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef so that the following actions can be taken:

  • A thorough and robust Heritage Impact Statement be prepared by a qualified and suitably experienced heritage consultant;
  • Community consultation be undertaken;
  • A re-design of the project occurs, post Impact Statement, which provides an adequate buffer between the development and Conon and which steps the development back from the common boundary, so that the higher levels are further away from the significant setting and view lines.

Trust Action: For the first time in the history of the National Trust of Australia (Queensland), our organisation has requested that the Minister for the Environment and Great Barrier Reef place a Stop Order on the proposed development so that our recommended actions can take place. We have requested the Stop Order via email and presented the letter to eth Minister’s office. We have informed our members via email and Facebook, and alerted the media to our stance.

Development Applications:
DA# A004628058 Laura Street and Lowerson Street, Lutwyche
DA# A004756525 Laura Street, Lutwyche and Thalia Court, Corinda

Media Release: 22 December 2017

What you can do We need your help! Please read our letter to the Minister and then write your own letter to the Minister requesting that they implement our recommendations and issue the Stop Order. Every letter counts – it’s time to activate your voice!

Originally posted on the The National Trust of Australia (Queensland) website: www.nationaltrust.org.au



ASHA Blog Editor

Welcome to 2018 and a new year of the ASHA News blog! We at ASHA hope that you have had a relaxing holiday break and are looking forward to an exciting new year.

Here at the ASHA Blog, we will be continuing to provide our members and other interested parties with information about what is going on in the world of historical archaeology in Australia, New Zealand and the wider Pacific region. This means more posts about research, excavations, upcoming events and Artefacts of the Month!

You can sign up to the RSS feed, found on the left side of the blog, in order to receive an email update each time a new blog post hits the site. And remember: as part of the ASHA membership, you also receive a quarterly blog summary email, so sign up as a member HERE.

We are very proud to say that over the last year the blog has gained many viewers. Previous to the revamp in January 2017 the blog averaged 175 views per month. By the second half of 2017 the ASHA News blog  was averaging of 1,200 views per month! This year we are looking to recieve more submissions from historical archaeologists all over Australasia, so if you'd like some free exposure for your excavation or research, if you've got an upcoming event you'd like to advertise, or if you simply want to show off that wonderfully interesting artefact you've excavated please send an email to blog@asha.org.au or to your local regional representitive (whose email addresses can be found HERE).

We're excited to see what happens in Australasian Historical Archaeology in 2018, thanks for joining us!



Compiled by Richard Morrison

In October 2017, the Australian Government noted the discovery of the wreck of SS Macumba, sunk during the Second World War by Japanese air attack in the Arafura Sea north-east of Darwin. The wreckage has now been protected as a declared shipwreck under Australia’s Historic Shipwrecks Act. The merchant ship SS Macumba left Sydney, carrying supplies for Darwin. It never arrived, with two Japanese floatplanes bombing the vessel on 6 August 1943, resulting in the loss of three lives. See http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/frydenberg/media-releases/mr20171005.html



Compiled by Richard Morrison

Of relevance to members,from the Heritage Branch, Department of the Environment (Cwlth), the Abbotsford Convent, Yarra City, (Vic) and the Parramatta Female Factory and Institutions Precinct, (NSW), have been added to the National Heritage List (NHL) in the last few months.

Abbotsford Convent For more than 100 years the Convent, provided shelter, food, education and work for tens of thousands of women and children who experienced poverty, neglect and social disadvantage. Run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd from 1863 to 1974, the Convent’s harsh conditions and hours of long work offered few comforts but provided shelter for desperate women and girls through the great Depression, two World Wars and other social upheavals.

Abbotsford Convent shows the role of religious and charitable institutions in Australia’s social and welfare history during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Convent’s asylum laundry is a rare surviving example of its type within Australia, reflecting the social attitudes of the time. For further information see http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/national/abbotsford-convent

Parramatta Female Factory and Institutions Precinct From 1821 onwards, tens of thousands of women and children passed through this place in the care and custody of the state. The Precinct, which housed female convicts, orphaned children, and vulnerable girls and young women, is considered a leading example of a site which demonstrates Australia’s social welfare history.

Institutionalisation was a core part of Australia’s welfare system over two centuries, and the Precinct is outstanding in its capacity to tell the stories of women and children in institutions over the course of Australian history. It includes a rare surviving example of a convict female factory, and offers us the opportunity to find out even more about convicts experiences as a potential source of future archaeological finds. See http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/national/parramatta-female-factory-and-institutions-precinct

Australia’s National Heritage List - the story so far by Australian Heritage Council (2017) - The NHL is now considered to be at a stage of development that the ‘remarkable story of our unique country is emerging with some clarity and impact’. This recent book, tells the stories of the places on the current list, and setting them in their wider context, and is intended to assist us to appreciate the nature of the journey so far, pointing towards ‘a future defined by the aspirations of the descendants of the continent’s first peoples and by the hopes and dreams of those who have come to live here from every country in the world’. See http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/ahc/publications/australias-national-heritage-list         



Compiled by Richard Morrison

Googong Foreshores Cultural and Geodiversity Heritage Areas, Burra (NSW) were added to the Commonwealth Heritage List (CHL) in November 2017. Quoting from the summary statement of significance:
"The Googong Foreshores Cultural and Geodiversity Heritage Area has been listed as an important heritage place because of its ability to demonstrate the region’s pastoral, Aboriginal, geological and natural history, including through its archaeological deposits. The place demonstrates a number of settlement and pastoral practices used in the area and wider region. The place and the buildings within it demonstrate past living conditions, rare nineteenth and early twentieth century historic building techniques and later evolution in building practice ... The London Bridge Arch and London Bridge Homestead building group are also valued for their aesthetic appeal appreciated by the local community."

For more information, please see: www.environment.gov.au



Compiled by Richard Morrison

The 3rd field work season is to be undertaken by Dr Ash Lenton, ANU, for undergraduates from there but also from other Australian universities, 5-28 January 2018. It is to focus, as in previous seasons, on the investigation of a military barracks which serviced the adjacent Maria Island convict settlement in the 1840’s. Run by: School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Research School of Humanities & the Arts, ANU College of Arts and the Social Sciences, ANU.

For more information please see:
https://facebook.com/TriabunnaBarracks.Dig/     
http://archanth.cass.anu.edu.au/triabunna-barracks

Twitter #TriabunnaBarracks