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ASHA NEWS

 

 
Author: Nadia Bajzelj,Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants

In 2019, GML Heritage Pty Ltd (GML) were engaged by ISPT Pty Ltd (ISPT) to undertake an historical archaeological investigation of 364-378 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. This location encompasses two sites listed on the Victorian Heritage Inventory (H7822-1024 and H7822-1025). The sites were used as domestic residences (1864-1918) before the construction of a Women’s VD Clinic (1918) and a Tuberculosis Bureau (1928) (GML 2019). The recovered artefact collection, comprising approximately 40,000 artefact fragments, was catalogued and analysed by Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants.

364-378 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne toilet wares

Photo 1: toilet wares from 364-378 Little Lonsdale Street (photograph by Grace Stephenson-Gordon, Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants)

The items pictured are ceramic artefacts relating to 19th-century hygiene practises. The majority of these items are chamber pots, but a chamber pot lid, wash basin and a brush box and lid were also identified. All are made from earthenware and decorated with transfer printed designs in black, blue, green and purple. These artefacts are from high significance contexts associated with the single-storey cottages of 366, 368 and 370 Little Lonsdale Street.

Concepts of hygiene during the 19th-century were evolving and changing dramatically from those of previous centuries. In earlier eras a link had been made between bathing and the spread of disease, but the people of the 19th-century began to see the relationship between cleanliness and disease prevention, with cleanliness becoming closely tied with a person’s respectability (Davidoff and Hall 2002: 382; Everleigh 2002: 65; Grigg 2008; Halliday 1999: 17). 'Cleanliness, like good manners became an indicator of respectability while dirt and squalor were seen as threats to moral as well as physical health' (Everleigh 2002: 65). Having a full toilet service was therefore highly desirable for 19th-century homes, and would have included items such as the chamber pot (possibly with a cover), large and small wash basins and ewers, a covered soap box with drainer, a covered sponge bowl, a covered toothbrush box or toothbrush vase, a foot bath and many additional extras (Copeland 2000: 24).

The chamber pots excavated from 364-378 Little Lonsdale Street represent the most common hygiene items recovered from 19th-century domestic sites. Chamber pots were stored under the bed or in a nightstand. When looking at the alternative toilet solution of the 19th-century – the water closet – which was located outside the house, the usefulness of the chamber pot is obvious. The chamber pot was a convenient option when needing to use the toilet in the middle of the night as it did not necessitate trudging outside in the cold and dark. In the morning, the pot would be emptied and cleaned and the waste disposed of. But wouldn’t this smell be rather overwhelming when you went back to bed? Yes, strangely enough human waste was no better then, than it is now. In order to minimise odours, chamber pots were usually (but not always) covered with pieces of cloth, newspapers, or a chamber pot lid (as pictured).

364-378 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne toilet wares

Photo 2: chamber pot with lid from 364-378 Little Lonsdale Street (photograph by Grace Stephenson-Gordon, Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants)

REFERENCES
COPELAND, R. 2000: Ceramic Bygones and other unusual domestic pottery. A Shire Book. Great Britain.
DAVIDOFF, L. and C. HALL 2002: "'My own fireside': the creation of the middle-class home." Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class 1780-1850. Revised Edition. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 357-396.
EVELEIGH, D.J. 2002: Bogs, Baths and Basins: The Story of Domestic Sanitation. Stroud, England: Sutton.
GML 2019: 364-378 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Historical Archaeological Research Design. Report to Case Meallin Pty Ltd & ISPT Pty Ltd.
GRIGG, T. 2008: Health & Hygiene in Nineteenth Century England in Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/articles/1615, accessed 02 May 2019.
HALLIDAY, S. 1999: The Great Stink of London: Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the Cleansing of the Victorian Capital. Sutton Publishing Ltd, England.

Author: Alison Frappell

Education and Interpretation Officer, Sydney Harbour YHA and the Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre

Celebrating 25 Years since The Big Dig excavations in 1994, a new documentary titled ‘Archaeology at The Big Dig’ explores how an archaeological site can give special insights into understanding the history of The Rocks and Sydney.

The documentary ‘stars’ many people who are familiar to ASHA members, including Professors Richard Mackay and Grace Karskens, Dr Wayne Johnson and Committee members Helen Nicholson and Alison Frappell.

The documentary will be shown on Monday 27th April 2020 at 4.00pm on SBS One as part of their special public holiday programming. What better way to spend half an hour on a public holiday afternoon under the COVID-19 shutdown?


Following the first broadcast, the documentary will be viewable on the SBS On Demand platform, just in case you miss it first time around.

The documentary was funded through contributions made by guests staying at Sydney Harbor YHA, and created with the film making expertise and collaborative approach of the Art of Multimedia team.

Compiled by Jane Rooke

NSW Heritage Library Online

For those who are not aware the Heritage Library of NSW now has thousands of items available on line. These include conservation management plans, archaeological reports, heritage studies, thematic studies and histories.

Follow the link below, go to advanced search and enjoy.

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/Heritage/research/library.htm

Don’t forget to come up for air every now and then.

Upcoming Event

Upcoming Event
Written by 

Joshua Davis


There is an event coming up this March. This is a joint event with our friends at AICOMOS, AACAI and Heritage Perth - please register your interest as soon as possible. Would be great to see a large ASHA turnout!

There will be three great presentations.

  • Greg Meacham is technical manager at Timber Insight and will present us Restoring Australia’s largest gold mining timber head-frame.
  • Marc Beattie is an Associate in element’s heritage team and will present us Power for the People: East Perth Power Station and its substations.
  • Dr Sean Winter is a part-time Lecturer in archaeology at UWA and the Principal Archaeologist for Winterborne Heritage Consulting and will present us Labour and Industry in WA Heritage.

 Wine and nibbles will follow.

You just need to register on the following link.

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-best-of-industrial-heritage-in-western-australia-tickets-57472941114

Please note that numbers are limited.

WHEN: Thursday March 21st, from 5:30-8pm

WHERE: Element’s Boardroom - Parmelia Hilton Level 19, 191 St Georges Tce.

Also, I would like to ask you to save the following Seminar dates on your calendars for all collaborative events with AICOMOS, AACAI and Heritage Perth:

    June 20th, Built Heritage

    September 19th, Museology

    December 3rd, Archaeology

All seminars are in principle at Element’s office located on Level 19/ 191 St Georges Tce, from 5:30pm-8pm, unless otherwise stated.


Compiled by Richard Morrison, ACT Representative

The protection of Australia's commemorative places and monuments report

This document has been released recently, prepared by the Australian Heritage Council and the Department of the Environment and Energy heritage staff, on the request of the Minister, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, who sought advice on the adequacy of existing legal protections for places and monuments that relate to the early interactions between European explorers and settlers and Australia's Indigenous peoples.  The report finds that the current legislative and policy framework across the country is adequate, but also makes a number of recommendations to allow Australians to further recognise and promote our shared Indigenous and colonial heritage.

The report can be found at https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/4474fb91-bd90-4424-b671-9e2ab9c39cca/files/protection-australia-commemorative-places-monuments.pdf

Re-appointments to the Australian Heritage Council (AHC)

in March 2018 the Minister responsible for the AHC, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, announced that five AHC members were being re-appointed: the Hon Dr Kemp AC (chair), Dr Jane Harrington (historic heritage), Associate Professor Don Garden OAM (historic heritage), Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker (Indigenous heritage) and Ms Rachel Perkins (Indigenous heritage). They join current members Dr Steve Morton (natural heritage) and Dr Jennie Whinam (natural heritage) on the seven-seat Council.

For further information on these people see http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/organisations/australian-heritage-council/about

Melbourne Domain and Parkland Precinct added to the National Heritage List (NHL)

Also, in March 2018, it was announced that this place had  been added to the NHL after a review of the earlier Emergency Nomination Listing.  It was seen as an iconic part of Melbourne and the place as a whole is a parkland landscape developed and shaped by its historic and on-going function as a rare government domain. The Kings Domain Resting Place within the parklands is also of particular significance because of its association with Australia's national story of the repatriation of Indigenous people's remains.

For further information see: https://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/national/melbourne-domain-parkland-memorial-precinct

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.

 


Compiled by Blog Editor

There have been no submissions for Artefact of the Month recieved this month (email blog@asha.org.au if you would like to submit for the June edition!) however I've come across a great blog from our North American friends: The American Artifacts Blog!

This blog "is a media outlet featuring artifact-related digital content from U.S. and Canadian archaeologists. [You can use] the blog to search, explore and learn about North American history through material culture." The artefacts featured include both historic and pre-historic time periods, and are provided by archaeologists across the region.

For more see: https://americanartifactsblog.com/

Written by John Prickard

Regarding fencing wire:

About the most wires can usually tell you is that it is post-1788. And you knew that anyway! The earliest Australian record for wire in rural fences I now know of is 1840. A few years earlier than what I published several years ago. (Yes, even I engage in the "my site is older than yours" race.) Galvanised wire was advertised in mid-1850s. Barbed wire may give a more precise date, depending on the type. In general, barbed wire is post mid-1870s, but specific types were patented later, and may help you put brackets on a date of occupation.

Iron and steel fence posts, and steel droppers may also help because most (but certainly not all) were patented. But you must be aware of later re-use of older scavenged components.

Send me some images of your wire / post / dropper, and I may be able to help you. (This sort of advice and help is really expensive: a coffee when I next see you.)

BTW: all of my fence-related papers including my 2010 PhD are on Dropbox as freebies. Help yourselves:  HERE

Copies of the diagrams, images, etc. are available from me, please don't just screen-dump them.

Fencing wire references:

I guess that most of you are aware of Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/texts), but if you aren't, then you should be.

Internet Archive is a treasure trove of FREE downloadable scanned books on everything from A to Z and beyond. These include hundreds of early mechanical, technological and agricultural encyclopaedias and books that will certainly help you better understand how things were done in 19th and early 20th centuries. If you want to know about just about any form of technology, this is the place to start. Any historical archaeologist worth her salt should have at least some of the zillion books from Internet Archive in her digital bookshelf. However, be warned: Internet Archive can be seriously addictive!

There are also hundreds of early Australian books, and if you are looking for some historical account that is only held in the Rare Books section of some library, then you should always start with Internet Archive. It is truly surprising what you will find.

Many of the titles were scanned by Google, and some appear to require payment to download them. If it looks like this is going to happen, you can bypass it by clicking on the "All files HTTPS" or similar button. This will get you to a page with options of downloading in a range of formats including PDF.

The search function is a bit clunky, and the way the items are described is painful to say the least. You can't distinguish between the same item from different libraries.

Here is one my favourite sources, Holtzapffel. A series of five volumes from mid-19th C. with extensive discussion of materials, and how things were done. The titles are not truly indicative of the encyclopaedic contents, there is considerably more than you might think from the titles. The URLs are to the PDFs (mostly 40 - 70 MB), there are other formats available. Other historical archaeologists will have their own lists of useful titles.

Holtzapffel, C. (1852). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Volume I. Materials; their differences, choice, and preparation; various modes of working them, generally without cutting tools. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica01holtuoft  

Holtzapffel, C. (1856). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume II: The principles of construction, action, and application, of cutting tools used by hand; and also of machines derived from the hand tools. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica02holtuoft         

Holtzapffel, C. (1850). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume III: Abrasive and miscellaneous processes, which cannot be accomplished with cutting tools. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica03holtuoft         

Holtzapffel, C. (1881). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume IV: The principles and practice of hand or simple turning. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica04holtuoft

Holtzapffel, J. J. (1884). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume V: The principles and practice of ornamental or complex turning. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

https://archive.org/details/HoltzapffelVol5_1884
(Unfortunately this is the only version available and it is a really poor scan, and the PDF is 1.2 GB. Yes, GB, not MB)

Please contact: blog@asha.org.au for John's email address

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