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Written by Prof. Martin Gibbs

As part of the ARC Discovery Project  Landscape of Production and Punishment: the Tasman Peninsula 1830-77, we are pleased to offer our second PhD Scholarship Opportunity to work with Prof. Martin Gibbs (UNE), A.Prof David Roberts (UNE) and Prof. Hamish Maxwell-Stewart (UTas), alongside staff of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (Dr David Roe, Dr Jody Steele, Ms Susan Hood) and project Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Richard Tuffin on the historical archaeology of the Tasman Peninsula and the Port Arthur convict site. Further information about the project is available at: (https://www.une.edu.au/about-une/academic-schools/school-of-humanities/research/current-funded-research/landscapes-of-production-and-punishment) or in our recent paper: Tuffin, R., M. Gibbs, D. Roberts, H. Maxwell-Stewart, D. Roe, J. Steele, S. Hood and B. Godfrey 2018 ‘Landscapes of Production and Punishment: Convict labour in the Australian context’, Journal of Social Archaeology 18(1): 50–76.

We are advertising the scholarship with two project possibilities (applicants should address which one they are interested in):

1. A historical archaeological study of Point Puer: Point Puer was the first purpose-built reforming institution for criminal boys in the British Empire (operating 1834-48). The project will focus on industrial training and outputs, drawing on extensive documentary sources as well as existing archaeological and museum records and material culture resources. Further survey of landscapes and structures may be required, although no further excavation is proposed. This project will closely align and work in conjunction with the main project and the other studies of industrial production at Port Arthur including material analyses.

2. A historical archaeological study of maritime infrastructure and operations at Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula: Port Arthur and associated convict sites across the Tasman Peninsula relied heavily upon maritime transport and engaged in a variety of maritime industries and activities during the convict period. This project will explore the nature and role of the various maritime related activities associated with the convict era on the Tasman Peninsula, with a focus on maritime infrastructure and industrial sites including the dockyard and the extensive wharfs, jetties and facilities. The project will require re-evaluation and synthesis of previous studies, extensive additional archival research and analysis, further survey, and potentially analysis of structures and material culture, depending on the final form of the project. No excavation is proposed. This project will work in conjunction with the main project.

Applicants should have Honours or Masters level qualifications in archaeology and be concerned with the anthropological dimensions of the archaeological record. It is essential that applicants have well-developed skills in using historical documents in support of archaeological research as well as skills in artefact or structural analysis as relevant to the project they are applying for. The successful candidate will be expected to work under the direction of and in collaboration with the main project team. There will be a requirement for co-publication of results. The final form of the project will be determined through consideration of the skills of the candidate.

The successful candidate will be resident at UNE Armidale, with fieldwork in Tasmania as required. Funding will be made available for basic travel and accommodation. The Scholarship includes a 3-year full-time UNE funded PhD studentship providing tuition fees and living allowance stipend.Stipend is $26,682 per annum tax free for full-time internal students, paid in fortnightly installments.

To discuss this role please contact Professor Martin Gibbs, phone: (02) 6773 2656 or email: mgibbs3@une.edu.au.

Please check out the full details on the UNE Scholarships website: https://www.une.edu.au/research/hdr/hdr-scholarships/landscape-of-production-and-punishment



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/


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




Ross Bertinshaw

We received a question from the daughter of a local farmer in the Calingiri area of Western Australia confirmed the continuing presence of two wells constructed for the Benedictine monks of New Norcia in the 19th Century.


The original enquiry provided some photos and asked if they could be Benedictine wells. The pictures and their approximate locations were suggestive of New Norcia wells and the later provision of GPS coordinates then allowed the locations to be checked on Google Earth and against georeferenced Lease Plans from the 1890s.


From the georeferenced map it was possible to identify the wells as Toro and Jitocon both Benedictine wells. Abbot Rosendo Salvado held lease holdings surrounding the wells on which he ran the sheep that supported the monks and their missionary activities.

We know a little more about the wells. Toro Well was first dug in 1865 by well diggers Delany and Lavan, both ex-convicts. It was either renovated or a new well dug on the site in 1881 by unknown well sinkers. It was located on freehold title of 40 acres, which was granted in 1876.

Jitocon Well was dug in 1865 by Delaney and Higgins and was located on a freehold title of 10 acres first granted in 1864.

It is great to see agriculturalists and their offspring interested in the archaeology and history of their area and wanting to preserve it if possible.



Rebekah Hawkins, Rhian Jones and Jane Rooke (Casey and Lowe)

It’s A Riot! - Celebrating strong women and their stories

On Friday 27 October Casey and Lowe were invited to join the Parramatta Female Factory Friends (PFFF) in their annual celebration of ‘It’s a Riot’ Day. It was a great honour to join in these celebrations and help tell just some of the stories marking 199 years (next year will be a big one) since the Factory was built.



Display table at ‘It’s a Riot’ day.

The Parramatta Female Factory was the first purpose built Factory in the colony, established as a place of assignment and of secondary punishment as well as a marriage bureau. It also included a hospital which was open to the women of the Factory and free settler women. In 1818 Governor Macquarie laid the first foundation stone, and three years later 112 convict women were transferred to the Factory. The number of women residing at the Factory increased dramatically throughout the 1830s and 1840s due to the large number of women transported from England and Ireland. By 1827 overcrowding, dissatisfaction with rations and declining living conditions led to possibly the first female workers’ riot in Australia. This riot was one of five that are known to have occurred at the factory, with many more occurring across the site during its time as an Asylum and Girl’s Reformatory. The Factory closed in 1848 and the site was converted into the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum.



Caiti D'Gluyas

One of the most significant finds from the 2002 Casselden Place, Melbourne, archaeological investigations (50 Lonsdale Street) was a medal struck to commemorate the Cessation of Convict Transportation (see images below, source: GML Heritage). The medal commemorates not only the victory of the anti-transportation movement but also the 50th anniversary of the founding of Tasmania on 10th August 1853.

The medal's design was approved by the Anti-Transportation League committee in 1853 before being fabricated in England. The medals finally arrived in Australia for distribution in 1855. The medal features James Wyon's portrait of Queen Victoria on one side, with the reverse showing the armorial bearings for Tasmania in a shield. James Wyon was a resident engraver at the Royal Mint and is best known for engraving the dies for sovereigns and half-sovereigns at the new Sydney branch of the Royal Mint. The shield is quartered by the Southern Cross and bears pastoral, commercial and agricultural emblems supported by the emu and kangaroo, surmounted by a rising sun motif.

The medal was cast in three different metals. One single medal was struck in gold for presentation to Queen Victoria, 100 were struck in bronze for committee members and 9000 were struck in white metal for general distribution. The medal recovered from Casselden Place appears to be a bronze issue. Many of the white metal medals went to Tasmanian school children. At the cessation celebrations, each child was given a piece of cake and a ticket enabling them to receive a medal, once they had arrived in the colony. On 3 August 1855, 9000 medals arrived in Launceston and 4000 were immediately dispatched to Hobart. Another 3000 were held in Launceston and 2000 were distributed to Green Ponds, Norfolk Plains, Ross, Evandale, Longford and other country districts.

The medal is now in the collection of Museum Victoria as part of a set of archaeological assemblages from the ‘Little Lon’ precinct. The most recent and concluding historical archaeological excavation at ‘Little Lon’ was undertaken between April and July 2017 for the 271 Spring Street development. An interpretation scheme for this excavation is currently being prepared by GML Heritage and will draw together the multiple phases of archaeological investigation that has occurred within the precinct. The medal provides an opportunity to interpret a fascinating story about ‘the hated stain’ of transportation.

References:
McNeice, R 1990, Tasmanian commemorative medals and medallions 1853–1900: A collector's handbook, Taroona.
Mint Issue September 2003, Royal Australia Mint.



Simon Blight

Restoration work is currently being undertaken by the Southern Midlands Council on the 1827 Commissariat building (see above image, provided by Simon Blight), the oldest building in the Oatlands Military precinct. The council purchased the Commissariat and the later Victorian shop & cottage, which both stand on the same block at 79 High Street, Oatlands. Both buildings are currently being restored, a process which aims to retain as much original fabric as possible. Wheere this is not possible a like for like approach is being utilised. The restoration work is being undertaken by the Centre for Heritage, Heritage Education and Skills Centre and the Heritage Re-Generation project participants – a heritage building skills training program for youth 16-24 years of age. Once complete, the shop and cottage building will be returned to the community for their use, and the Commissariat will be used for Heritage Education and Skill Centre training.

The Commissariat was built of sandstone atop a steep slope to house provisions for the military and convicts. Originally a guardhouse stood nearby the Commissariat to house the corporal and privates who guarded to convict chain gang. The guardhouse was demolished in the 1970s.

Archaeologically monitored clearance of the underfloor of the skillion has revealed many interesting discoveries from the topsoil, which has not been disturbed for decades. An area of built up soil from the 1840s timber skillion was removed to allow work on the timber framework and to reveal the footing of the building. The soil was sieved  and revealed numerous ceramic and glass fragments, hand forged nails, clay pipe bowl and stem sections, an 1850s trade token and several clay marbles. A clay pipe bowl and list of items received was also discovered in the roof structure.

A close up of etched lettering on sandstone blacks, image provided by: Simon Blight

Perhaps the most interesting discovery so far has been on the Commissariat building itself. During removal of built up soil, the foundation of a chimney was discovered. Etched letters and numerals were uncovered on the sandstone blocks on the external side wall which have been covered by a later addition lean-to shed. The main etched graffiti is the numeral 40, which appears multiple times along the external wall, along with initials and the year 1829. At this stage the meaning of the marks is unknown; convict marks or a regiment number, perhaps?



Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

A story long believed to be false by researchers in convict history may have been proved true by an amature historian. The English teacher who is based in Japan, along with a volunteer manuscript reading group translated a c1830s description of the arrival of ship Cyprus to the Japanese coast. The crew were a group of convicts who had hijacked the brig as it was on it's way from Hobart to Macquarie Harbour in 1829. Together, they traveled as far as China, with their journey being recorded in later documents from their trail for piracy.

For more information, please see the following link:
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/28/australian-convict-pirates-in-japan-evidence-of-1830-voyage-unearthed?platform=hootsuite



Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

The Hyde Parks Barracks website has recently been rediscovered, and has been suggested as a "blast from the past" for the blog. The website includes various images of excavations from the 1980's, which you can check out here:https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/stories/archaeology-action-hyde-park-barracks

An excerpt from the page states:

In 1979 a major restoration of Hyde Park Barracks was begun, and by September 1980 the Barracks became the subject of the first publicly-funded archaeological excavation in New South Wales. Test trenches were opened by archaeologist Wendy Thorp, and then for 14 weeks throughout 1981 the site was under excavation by a team of 11 archaeologists, a conservator, a photographer and 250 volunteers, led by archaeologist Patricia Burritt.

...

During these excavations archaeologists discovered over 120,000 artefacts around the site, including over 80,000 recovered from beneath the floors of the upper levels of the dormitory building, where objects had been trapped for up to 160 years. An estimated 80 per cent were left behind by women of the Female Immigration Depot, the Hyde Park Asylum for aged and destitute women and courts and government offices, and the remaining 20 per cent survived the installation of new ceilings in 1848, and date from the convict period.



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.