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ASHA NEWS

Written by Blog Editor

Just two more weeks to go until National Archaeology Week kicks off in Australia! The week begins on 21st May, and there are lots of events happening in and around the week (most are free!) that you can pop in to and spread the word about the wonderful archaeological work going on across the country! For more information, including a calendar of events, see: http://www.archaeologyweek.com/

Written by Nicholas Pitt

This workshop is being organised by the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology with the support of Australia ICOMOS and the Heritage Division, Office of Environment and Heritage. The venue is provided courtesy of Property NSW.

Historical documents: maps, plans and images
This session will:

  • look at how and why we do Land Titles research in archaeology
  • involve an online workshop on how to do Land Titles research and its value in understanding archaeological sites.
  • provide an understanding of historic images and plans
  • look at methods for overlaying maps and plans

    Archaeological Research Questions and Assessing Significance
    This session considers how we construct archaeological research designs and formulate questions to better understand the archaeological resource. This will include consideration of how these questions fit with assessing archaeological significance within a framework of the 2009 guidelines .

    Working in different statutory environments
    This session provides an overview of the s tatutory planning environments that archaeologists work i n , in NSW. It will look at assess ing heritage and archaeology for S tate Significant Development and Infrastructure projects including :

  • the role of an arch aeological assessment in the Environmental Impact Statement and the approvals process
  • managing risk for your clients (costs, time delays, etc.)
  • archaeological obligations under the NSW Heritage Act, 1977

     

    Workshop Presenters

  • Dr Mary Casey, President, ASHA and Director, Casey & Lowe
  • Dr James Flexner, Lecturer in Historical Archaeology and Heritage, University of Sydney
  • Dr Terry Kass, Historian and heritage consultant
  • Dr Siobhan Lavelle, Senior Team Leader, Heritage Division, Office of Environment and Heritage
  • Mr Nic holas Pitt, Webmaster, ASHA, postgraduate student and independent heritage practitioner.
  • Ms Kylie Seretis, Director, Casey & Lowe
  • Dr Iain Stuart , Vice - President, A S H A and Partner, JCIS Consultants

     

    Costs
    ASHA/ ICOMOS Members $110
    Student ASHA/ ICOMOS Members $ 55
    Non - Member $160
    Student Non - Member $ 80

    Venue
    Big Dig Centre, YHA Cumberland Street, The Rocks

    Date/ Time
    Friday 20 April 2018, 9am to 5pm

    ASHA encourages the participation of archaeological and heritage consultants seeking to improve their archaeological assessment and research skills and understanding of the current legislative frameworks .

    For more information and to book see: www.asha.org.au/events

  • Written by the SHAP committee

    Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioners’ (SHAP) Workshop is running on 18 May 2018. The theme of this year’s Workshop is: The Role of Archaeology in Heritage Conservation. Submissions for sessions and papers have been extended to 22 April so if you have not yet submitted your abstract we would love to hear from you! Please send it to admin@extent.com.au or email us for more info. Abstracts only need to be 150 words and presentations are short – 15 minutes with question time at the end.

    Tickets for the SHAP Workshop are now also on sale at https://shap2018.eventbrite.com.au – head over to reserve your spot now as places are limited! Tickets are $33 for students, $66 for ASHA/AAA/AACAI/ICOMOS members and $88 for general entry, including food and drinks.

    Written by ASHA Committee

    In August 2017 ASHA conducted a survey of members regarding what type of workshop members would be interested in attending. In response to outcomes of the survey, ASHA is proposing to hold a series workshops aimed at enhancing your heritage skills in key areas identified by members.

    The first workshop - Technical and Research Skills - is aimed at refining practitioners’ assessment skills when using documents, maps and plans, providing greater understanding the different statutory environments, and an opportunity to consider archaeological research designs and archaeological significance. The workshop will be held on Friday 20th April, 2018 at the Big Dig Centre in Sydney.

    While the workshop is aimed at archaeologists, it will also be beneficial to heritage consultants who include the outcomes of archaeological assessments in their reports, people who manage general archaeological and heritage issues. Further details, including registration details, are available here: http://www.asha.org.au/events

    Written by Dr Christine Williamson, Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants

    In 2016 Extent Heritage were engaged by the Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliament of Victoria to undertaken excavations within the grounds of Victoria’s Parliament House. This location includes the site of the former St Peter’s Diocesan Grammar School (H7822-2339), which was constructed in 1849. The excavations yielded a collection of 10122 artefacts, among which were 18 pieces of at least two glass target balls. Unfortunately, these pieces were recovered from unstratified contexts that include materials deposited with nightsoil that was dumped across much of inner Melbourne in the late 19th century and therefore cannot be definitively tied to on-site activities. However, in and of themselves, they are interesting objects.


    PLATE 1: Some of the Parliament House target ball fragments (Supplied: Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants).

    The target balls are made of cobalt-blue glass, are 65mm in diameter and have a grid pattern on the surface. The items are round, with the exception of a protruding opening (Plate 1 above). They have been created by blowing glass into a 2-piece mould with the rough lip on the opening formed when the glass was broken away from the blowpipe. The raised pattern on the surface of the balls was designed to prevent shot from ricocheting off the smooth ball (Kerr nd). Unlike the complete items illustrated in Plate 2 below, the Parliament House artefacts do not have a maker’s mark. The style of the Parliament House balls is the same as ‘an extremely rare ball’ that was made in Australia (targetballs.com, Plate 3 below). I have not been able to find any information on Australian glass target ball manufacturers, other than Frederick Bolton Hughes of the South Australian Glass Bottle Company. He made glass target balls between 1896 and 1913, but his items are embossed with his initials ( pssatrap.org).


    PLATE 2: A collection of glass target balls (peachridgeglass.com).


    PLATE 3: Australian-made glass target ball (targetballs.com).

    Glass target balls, in a range of bright colours that would be easily visible as they were launched into the sky, were manufactured from about the 1860s until the end of the 19th century, with their main period of use between 1875 and 1885 (antiquebottles.com; glassbottle marks.com; peachridgeglass.com). At the height of their popularity, the Bohemian Glass Works in New York City produced 1.2 million glass target balls in a six-month period, each of which sold for just over a penny (Finch ndb).


    PLATE 4: Target ball trap (peachridgeglass.com)


    PLATE 5: Target ball trap (targetballs.com)

    The ‘invention’ of glass target ball shooting is credited to Charles Portlock of Boston, who organised the first competitive glass target shoots in in 1867 (Kerr nd). The glass balls were hailed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as an invention that ‘supersedes the necessity of inflicting pain and suffering to pigeons hitherto used by marksmen as a medium for obtaining accuracy of aim’ (Henry Berg letter dated 7/8/1876 in Finch nda) and one patent trap was named ‘The Pigeon’s Friend’. The early traps were of limited popularity as they simply threw the ball straight up into the air. However, in 1877 a trap was patented that cast the balls in a 60-foot-long arc and other patents soon followed (Kerr nd, plates 4 and 5 above). By the late 19th century glass target balls were rapidly replaced with clay targets that were considered safer as they did not lead to large amounts of broken glass falling from the sky and scattering across the ground.

    However, glass target balls remained popular in shooting competitions, exhibitions, circuses and Wild West shows. The ‘Ira Paines’ Filled Ball’, popularised by shooter Ira Paines, was filled with feathers and powder so that when the ball broke apart it resembled a bird being shot (Kerr nd). Annie Oakley is said to have filled her glass balls with streamers that burst from the item when it broke apart (Meyer 2012). The balls were also used as a solid, curved surface for darning socks on and for teething babies (Finch ndb) and were sometimes repurposed as Christmas decorations (glassbottlemarks.com).


    Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants

    Extent Heritage

    References
    Finch, R. nda Who’s on First? Portlock, Paine, Moreson? www.targetballs.com
    Finch, R. ndb. What are Target Balls? www.targetballs.com
    Kerr, A. nd. For Fun, Sure as Shooting – Target Balls Hit the Mark. www.traphof.org
    Meyer, F. 2012. Target Glass, Glass Made to Be Broken www.peachridgeglass.com

    Compiled by Blog Editor

    Jeremy Smith, Principal Archaeologist at Heritage Victoria recently discussed the Wesley Church and Jones Lane excavation with ABC Saturday Breakfast Radio host Hilary Harper.

    From the ABC Radio website: An archaeological dig on Lonsdale Street between Russell and Exhibition has shone a window into life in pre-Gold Rush era Melbourne, showing it was more diverse and vibrant than we might have imagined. Jeremy Smith, principal archaeologist for Heritage Victoria, told Hilary Harper why there were whole houses sitting two metres under street level.

    A recording of the interview can be found here: www.abc.net.au/radio/melbourne/

    Written by Caiti D'Gluyas

    The next ASHA reading group is being hosted by Casey and Lowe and will be held on 22nd March. This is a semi-regular (quarterly) opportunity to catch-up with other historical archaeologists and discuss themes of interest.

    Topic: Historical Artefacts
    Facilitator: Robyn Stocks, Senior Artefact Specialist, Casey and Lowe
    Location: Casey and Lowe Offices, 51 Reuss Street, LEICHHARDT NSW 2040
    Time: 6pm, Thursday 22nd March 2017

    Primary Readings
    Davies, P. 2005 ‘Writing Slates and Schooling in Victoria’, Australasian Historical Archaeology 23:63-69.
    Gojak, D. & I. Stuart 1999 ‘The Potential for the Archaeological Study of Clay, Tobacco Pipes from Australian Sites’, Australasian Historical Archaeology 17:38-49.
    Klippel, W.E. & G.F. Schroedl 1999 ‘African slave craftsmen and single-hole bone discs from Brimstone Hill, St Kitts, West Indies’, Post-Medieval Archaeology 33:22–232.

    Secondary Readings
    Varman, R.V.J. 1993 Bricks and Nails: Building Materials as Criteria for Dating in Sydney and Environs from 1788, A Documentary Survey and Assessment of Dating Potential, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Sydney. Available online at https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/1205

    Contact secretary@asha.org.au if you are finding it difficult to find the readings.

    The event is free and open to anyone who is interested, however, RSVPs are essential (to secretary@asha.org.au), so please get in touch if you would like to come!




    Written by Nadia Bajzelj

    Excavations at the Wesley Church precinct were carried out by Dr. Vincent Clark and Associates in 2017, a site which is located between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale streets in the Melbourne CBD. The residences at Jones Lane were brick houses with bluestone footings, ranging in size from two to four rooms.

    This month’s ‘Artefact of the Month’ was found in one of the residences along Jones Lane, which ran between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale streets. This masonic stickpin, which is a decorative pin used to secure men’s cravats or neck ties. Stickpins generally date from the early 19th century, and though the date for this one is still being pinned down, it is dated to broadly between the late 19th and early 20th century.

    This stick pin is 76mm in length and is made from copper alloy, delicately shaped in twisted ropes around a clear oval piece of glass. The glass has a thin veneer of shell over the top, cut into the Masonic symbol of a square and compass. The motif is interesting as our background research on the site shows a number of different businesses, but none related to stone masons. The analysis of the artefacts from the site is still in progress, so our knowledge of the site at this stage is still preliminary, but we hope that we can research the inhabitants of this residence and identify any members of the Masonic Lodge.

    For more information see: http://vincentclark.com.au/2017/05/jones-lane-historical-archaeology/



    Compiled by Blog Editor

    An excavation in Wellington has uncovered the remains of an early fort which once sat close to the shoreline, at approximately the level of current-day Bond Street in the city center. The remains, and those of early shops in the area are some of the first examples of European settlement at Wellington. For more information see: www.tvnz.co.nz



    AACAI Victorian Chapter

    The Victorian Chapter of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc. invites you to celebrate the end of year with us. Join us for canapés and drinks at Hotel Spencer Bar & Grill at 475 Spencer Street, Melbourne on Friday 1 December, 6:30pm start. RSVP details to come.