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ASHA NEWS

Written by Richard Morrison

As an ASHA promotional exercise, both of membership and historical archaeology, it was suggested that your regional representatives might organise a regional event and some measure of financial support might be available for this. As there is no strong Historical Archaeology base in the ACT - there is no tertiary teaching of it here in what is also a comparatively small region - it was considered prudent to explore the possibility of a joint event of some sort with the Canberra Archaeological Society (CAS) if we could find a mutually relevant theme and type of event.


The Q&A panel, L to R, Dr Michael Pearson AO, Dr Duncan Wright(ANU), Professor June Ross (UNE), Dr Tim Maloney (ANU) and Dr Tristen Jones (ANU), Maritime Rock Art Symposium, NMA,14/4/18. Photograph R Morrison.

The end result was a half day, contact-themed, free, public symposium which was held at the National Museum of Australia (NMA) during the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival. This drew a crowd of about 50, including archaeology students, academics, consultants and the public, to hear five experts relate investigations of maritime contact rock art across Australia, starting with Dr Michael Pearson AO, setting the scene by describing approaches to the identification of ships/boats found in Australian rock art. Case studies then followed in papers presented and/or written by academics from ANU, UNE and UWA. This was rounded off with a Q&A panel of all speakers. It is expected that the speakers' presentations will eventually be loaded on the CAS website.

The success of this event has encouraged CAS to suggest a joint event with ASHA be an annual activity.

 


Written by The Dry Stone Wall Association of Australia

The Dry Stone Walls Association of Australia (DSWAA) are holding a weekend away at Bathurst, NSW that  ASHA members may be interested in:

Weekend away at Bathurst, NSW, May 11-13 2018
Planning is well underway for a fabulous weekend of heritage and discovery in and around Bathurst. We start with drinks at the magnificent Abercrombie House; built in the 1870s by the Stewarts - pioneers of Bathurst. On the Bridle Track you can imagine yourself as a drover on horseback heading up the narrow track to the village at Hill End, the beautiful Turon River below.

It's also a rare trades weekend at Bathurst where we could see violin making, photo restoration, shingle splitting, lace and whip making, and much more - and of course our own dry stone wallers; Wayne Fox and Emma Knowles will be in action.

If you stay for Monday you will see Cox's Road - the original track across the Blue Mountains - and the historic Mayfield Gardens - a lovely property and garden rich in dsw.

For more information, please see: http://dswaa.org.au/bathurst-heritage-weekend-11-13-may/

Compiled by Blog Editor

Members may be interested to hear that a young man from South Australia, Josh Corke, has challenged himself to photograph every heritage-listed place in the state. So far has taken photos in and around Adelaide, the Murrarylands and the Fleurieu. As yet Mr Corke is unsure what he will do with the compilation of images when the project is complete.

For more information, see: www.murrayvalleystandard.com.au
And Mr Corke's flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jorcoga/



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



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




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.



State Library of New South Wales

The winners of The 2017 NSW Premier’s History Awards, were recently announced at the State Library of NSW, as part of the official launch of NSW History Week. Archaeologists Anne Clarke, Ursula Frederick and historian Peter Hobbins were awarded the NSW Community and Regional History Prize for their publication "Stories from the Sandstone: Quarantine Inscriptions from Australia’s Immigrant Past".


Anne Clarke, Ursula Frederick and Peter Hobbins

Judges of the award stated:
"The North Head Quarantine Station operated from the 1830s until it closed in 1984; it served as a holding station for passengers on inbound ships to New South Wales arriving from well known hotspots for contagious diseases. Stories from the Sandstone examines around 1600 engravings in many different languages that were carved into the rocks and walls around the Quarantine Station during its 150 year history.

The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs of the engravings and paintings of the area. In addition to the inscriptions and graffiti, sources include official records, personal recollections, unpublished diaries, private correspondence, family trees and various archives. The authors draw from this rich body of sources to spotlight individuals who passed through the station and left their signatures in stone.

This fascinating and accomplished history of the Quarantine Station firmly locates the experiences of the local within the broader context of the global. It covers the history of immigration to Australia, the conditions of ship travel for men, women and children,the start of government public health measures and the establishment of official quarantine policies to manage arrivals and the spread of disease. It is a history contoured by how the governments of the day applied ideas of gender, race and culture to the treatment of diverse individuals. Such local experiences are set within the broader transnational framework of the history of trade, trade routes, theories of disease and pandemics"

Other prizes awarded include:
Australian History Prize ($15,000)From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories, Mark McKenna (Melbourne University Publishing)
General History Prize ($15,000)Japanese War Criminals: The Politics of Justice After the Second World War, Sandra Wilson, Robert Cribb, Beatrice Trefalt and Dean Aszkielowicz (Columbia University Press)
Young People’s History Prize ($15,000)Maralinga’s Long Shadow: Yvonne’s Story, Christobel Mattingley (Allen and Unwin)
Multimedia History Prize ($15,000)The Amboyna Conspiracy Trial, Adam Clulow (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media)



Compiled by Richard Morrison

The 2016 Australia State of the Environment (SOE) Report (Overview) was tabled in Parliament in March 2017 to provide a basis for government policy makers to undertake more informed decisions about the environment. The SOE is a five-yearly series of authoritative, national environmental overviews (begun in 1996) and continues the ‘report card’ approach of assessments of pressures, condition and trends; discussions of risk and resilience; and future projections or ‘outlooks’ that were first implemented in SOE 2011.

The Meeting of Environment Ministers (Commonwealth, State and Territory) agreed in Melbourne on the 28 July 2017 to ‘work together to identify opportunities for cross-government collaboration to address concerns raised in the report’. It is hoped that this agreement, where the relevant minister does not have heritage responsibilities, will also bind the respective jurisdictional heritage minister.

The author of the substantial heritage theme contribution to the 2016 SOE was Professor Richard Mackay AM.

The link to this SOE theme can be found at: https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/heritage and the entire report can be found at http://www.environment.gov.au/science/soe. Links to the various SOE reports, compiled in their own independent processes, by individual state and territories, can also be found here.



AACAI NSW/ACT chapter

Archaeobotany for consultant archaeologists! AACAI NSW are pleased to present two speakers and a discussion on archaeobotanical sampling methods, techniques and controls for interpreting and dating archaeological sites, reconstructing past environments and understanding past Aboriginal and European land uses. Key speakers include: Dr Andrew Fairbain (University of Queensland) and Dr Emilie Dotte-Sarout (Australian National University). Attendees are invited to bring your questions for discussion!

Details

Thursday 21 September
Door opens 5:30pm for a 6:00pm start
The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre at YHA the Rocks
Costs: AACAI Members and Students (must show student ID): Free
Non-Members: $10
Pay at the door

Please RSVP by 20 th September for catering purposes to dianacowie@gmail.com



ASHA/IA Conference Committee

Early bird registration for the joint ASHA/IA Conference have been extended! The new early bird deadline is 5pm on September 4, so get in quick to take advantage before conference fees rise by $50! Follow this link to register.