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ASHA NEWS



Zvonka Stanin

These trousers are some of the more complete textiles items recovered during the 2017 Alpha Archaeology excavation of the former Carlton United Brewery (CUB2) complex in Swanston Street, Carlton. When excavated, they appeared to be sandwiched between wooden floor boards and a mid-19th century cesspit deposit. Their original condition, was described by the CUB2 conservator Jeff Fox as a ‘mass of unidentified textile covered in mud. Unable to determine form/shape’.


The conservation process which included wet cleaning, immersion by an ultrasonic bath, and freeze drying, separated the textile mass into a more recognisable pattern of garment components. These include front and back ‘trouser’ panels with folded edges that appeared to have been once stitched and before being unpicked. All the major panels appear to be made of a coarse brown and black cotton or wool material, woven tightly on the weft. Thick, horizontal lines are barely apparent on each panel; whether this fading is due to use or taphonomic conditions has yet to be determined. Button holes and matching button imprints on different pieces confirm that the trousers were once more complete.


By tracing individual fragments to create a working canvas mock-up, we were able to show how the trouser panels were placed together, with a front ‘panel’ buttoning onto an underlying waistband which was also buttoned, most likely by four-hole sew through bone or wooden buttons which were common types at the CUB2. The back panel creates exceptional room, in a fit that is otherwise tall and slim, and a good example of the style of construction not commonly discussed in Australian archaeological literature: the ‘fall front‘, ‘drop front fall’, ‘flap pants’ style of men’s pants. The style is understandably associated with convenience; the pattern allows the ‘fall’ to be opened without necessarily unfastening the waistband (or ‘drop your trousers’). A narrower version of the fall (narrow fall) seems to have been the dominant style for breeches, pantaloons, trousers, and overalls from the French Revolution (1790) until the 1840s, when the centre button closure became more common. The ‘broad fall’ style of the CUB2 example, where the ‘fall’ stretches from hip to hip, may have been introduced later (http://www.northwestjournal.ca/VI6, sourced 10/10/2017, but see the Met pants below).


Analysis of the CUB2 trousers so far hints at a manifold significance. The combination of the ‘broad fall’ style and striped fabric appears to have few publicly known comparisons (see for example, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/79497?rpp=20&pg=1&ao=on&ft=Trousers&pos=17, sourced 10/10/2017). The striped design is reminiscent of the popular taste for patterns in ‘gentleman’s’ fashion of the 1850s and early 1860s, the period that coincides with the Victorian gold rush; and all that it entails. It counters any expectations of ‘dullness’ and ‘conformity’, typical of the latter 19th and early 20th century city clothing for men - all dark colours and creased trousers - and even widens the gaze past those numerous S. T. Gills’ paintings, with their whimsy neckerchiefs at the centre. Can the paintings tell us what kind of man wore these? Broader fashion discourse tells us to ‘go easy’. Through the interplay of economic wealth, and contact between large numbers of people of different classes, social or other standing during this period, fashion became much less of a marker of status than previously known; or than continued in England or Europe (Maynard 1994). The trousers do indicate care and re-use, through the effort it would have taken to unpick all the seams and button holes, which may suggest that both the pattern and material continued to be important.

The brief mock-up experiment was a collaborative effort between Allison Bruce (La Trobe), Olivia Arnold (UNE), Felicity Buckingham and myself. The latter can be contacted on felicitybuckingam@yahoo.com or zstanin50@gmail.com

Images by Z Stanin:
1 Trouser fabric recovered in association with cesspit deposits from CUB2. The right half shows the back of the trousers most completely.
2 The front trouser panels, with the blue marker showing the position of the button holes.
3 The front trouser panels, not including the lining for the ‘fall’ (see image 1). Note that the pockets were more likely under the ‘fall’ as in image 2.

References:
Maynard, Margaret 1994, Fashioned from penury: dress as cultural practice in colonial Australia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge [England]; New York
http://www.northwestjournal.ca/VI6, sourced 10/10/2017.
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/79497?rpp=20&pg=1&ao=on&ft=Trousers&pos=17, sourced 10/10/2017



Fenella Atkinson

You are cordially invited to the Twelfty-Eleventh Annual Archaeologists' Picnic (AAP).

Sunday 17th December 2017, 1pm. Enmore Park (bounded by Enmore Rd, Victoria Rd, Llewellyn St, and Black St) Marrickville, Sydney.

Bring your family, friends, pets. Bring a plate. In case of inclement weather, the honourable organising committee suggest you go to the pub instead (Vic on the Park and Golden Barley are both nearby, the Vic is dog-friendly).

Lucky door prize is an ARC Linkage grant, and runner-up prize is a little hollow feeling inside. Non-attendance will incur penalties as outlined in subsection 23(7).



Bronwyn Woff

A resident of Maffra, VIC has recently been interviewed by the ABC network as an interest story on his collection of C20th century electronics. The early kettles (numbering between 1,500 and 2000), radios and other appliances and collectables are on display throughout his home, which he regularly opens for tours by interested groups.

For more information, see: www.abc.net.au/news



Chinese-Australian Hometown Heritage Tour

Do you have a Cantonese ancestor but have never been to China? Do you want to know more about your Cantonese roots but don't know where to start? Are you interested in learning more about overseas Chinese culture and heritage?

You might be interested in the upcoming Chinese Australian Hometown Heritage Tour to Guangdong, China.

For more information, check out this link: www.katebagnall.com/projects/hometown-heritage-tour/



Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

An abandoned 19th century graveyard with unmarked graves has been discovered in the gold mining town of Ravenswood, 130km southwest of Townsville, QLD, where gold was discovered in 1868. The 16 graves are believed to be have been interred between the late 1860s and early 1870s, and archaeologists have determined that the remains were those of nine adults and seven children.

For more information, see:
https://www.qt.com.au/news/cemetery-project-finds-graves-burial-vault-ipswich/878067/

http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/hidden-graves-unearthed-in-north-queensland/news-story/ca4a07efc3f46554bb5540a2c4393334



National Trust of Australia (Vic)

On Saturday 28 October, the Greater Shepparton City Council and their Heritage Advisory Committee will be hosting an open day. The day aims to create awareness and understanding of the Greater Shepparton diverse and unique range of heritage places. There are three ways to visit the sites: bus tours, walking tours and independent visiting.


This free event will take place from 10am to 4pm at various sites across the Council, for more details see: www.greatershepparton.com.au



National Trust, Queensland

Expressions of Interest are being sought by the National Trust (Queensland) for the Heritage Advocacy Committee. The committee exists to assist the National Trust board achieve its advocacy objectives for Queensland heritage - natural, built and cultural.

The Advocacy Committee, is calling for up 6 new Committee members. The following information details the background, the committee structure and the EOI process can be found at the following link: www.nationaltrust.org.au



Bronwyn Woff

The ASHA Committee would like to thank everyone that attended the 2017 Travelling Stories conference! We hope that you had a fantastic time travelling through Tassie and experiencing all sorts of stories, and learning new ways of interpreting them.

A HUGE thank you goes out to the conference committee, from both ASHA and Interpretation Australia, who have put in an emmense amount of effort into this conference, to such great success!!

We would also like to congratulate Ian Smith on his Best Paper award for: Hikoi to hohi: archaeology, biculturalism and interpretation at Rangihoua Heritage Park, New Zealand

We look forward to our next conference in 2018 which will be in partnership with the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology!



UCL Press

UCL Press is delighted to announce a brand new open access textbook that may be of interest to list subscribers: Key Concepts in Public Archaeology. The book can be downloaded for free as a PDF and app, read online for free, and purchased in paperback and hardback.

Free PDF download/app/enhanced online edition HERE

This book provides a broad overview of the key concepts in public archaeology, a research field that examines the relationship between archaeology and the public, in both theoretical and practical terms. While based on the long-standing programme of undergraduate and graduate teaching in public archaeology at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology, the book also takes into account the growth of scholarship from around the world and seeks to clarify what exactly ‘public archaeology’ is by promoting an inclusive, socially and politically engaged vision of the discipline.

Written for students and practitioners, the individual chapters provide textbook-level introductions to the themes, theories and controversies that connect archaeology to wider society, from the trade in illicit antiquities to the use of digital media in public engagement, and point readers to the most relevant case studies and learning resources to aid their further study.



Bronwyn Woff

Developers are planning to build a multi-story office block on the heritage-listed former Dennys Lascelles Wool Store in Geelong, Victoria. The Wool Store was built in 1872, for a company that became one of the most significant wool-broking businesses in Australia, and is listed for its state significance. For more information, see:

https://architectureau.com/articles/heritage-listed-geelong-wool-store-to-become-high-rise-office-block/
http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/techne-pitches-tower-for-geelong-wool-stores-20170905-gyb6ds.html