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ASHA NEWS



Alison Frappell

On Friday 1 December 2017 we were pleased to welcome Prof Daniel Schávelzon and Dr Patricia Frazzi to The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre, following their afternoon tour of The Rocks with Dr Wayne Johnson. We were delighted that the Argentinian Consul-General in Sydney, Mr Hector Raul Pelaez, was also able to join us.


Prof Daniel Schávelzon, Dr Patricia Frazzi and Dr Wayne Johnson

Prof Schávelzon and Dr Frazzi gave our members a fascinating talk about their work on the excavations of a Nazi hideout or refuge complex (image below), deep in the jungle of what is now Teyú Cuaré Park, Misiones, in Argentina. Prof Schávelzon explored the complex of three main buildings and several ancillary buildings, noting how the buildings were constructed by local labour interpreting Germanic designs and construction methods.

Four garbage pits were excavated with thousands of artefacts found, dating the site to the 1940s - 1950s, as well as a collection of coins (image below) from various German-occupied European nations.

An intriguing pit, which initially the team thought may be a grave, showed evidence of burial of an object, a cubic metre in size, which at some later point was retrieved. A belt with a Spanish military buckle (image below) belonging to General Franco’s army, in use till 1975, was deliberately buried when the pit was refilled.

Prof Schávelzon explored how the lack of historical records was ameliorated by a wealth of local stories, including building materials being reused in local housing. However, he noted that some of those local memories turned out to be recollections from newspaper and magazine articles from 1976 when the site was rediscovered, and commented on how recent international media has picked out the storyline it finds most newsworthy. The practice of historical archaeology plays a very important role in better understanding such curious sites.


Dr Frazzi recounted how her team worked in very difficult conditions to conserve significant but extremely fragile artefacts (image above), showing the remarkable transformation of matted lumps of paper into a page of newspaper and a postcard of Hitler and Mussolini. Their careful research on unusual finds, such as a fragment of expensive lamp glass from Germany, was most impressive.

For those who weren’t able to make the talk a copy of the IJHA paper about the excavations is available here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10761-017-0442-1



The National Trust of Australia (Queensland)

Advocacy Alert – Lutwyche and Corinda The National Trust of Australia (Queensland) has requested a Stop Order, under Division 3, Section 154, of the Queensland Heritage Act, 1992 for two approved development applications at Lutwyche, Brisbane (DA #A004628058 and DA #A004756525). The two Development Applications relate to the property addresses of:

  • 32 LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 33 LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 36 LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 36A LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 37 LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 39 LAURA ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030;
  • 30 THALIA CT CORINDA QLD 4075; and
  • 39 LOWERSON ST LUTWYCHE QLD 4030.

A request has been made for a Stop Order to prohibit work from starting on the stated activity contained in the two Development Applications.

22 December 2017
Letter to the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef: Request to make Stop Order under the Queensland Heritage Act, 1992
Attachment A – 15 November 2017 – DEHP Letter of Support
Attachment B – 11 June 2010 – Letter from Office of the Lord Mayor Brisbane

The Threat: Earlier this year, Brisbane City Council approved via Code Assessable Development the proposed 8-storey retirement village on the property adjoining Conon. Conan, built in 1863 and lies to the east of Lutwyche Road. Unfortunately, heritage provisions were not triggered because the QHR listed boundary is not “adjacent” to the development site (under the, it has to be adjacent for the development to impact assessable). The grass lawn court has an adjoining boundary – but because it was owned by someone else when the QHR listing took place, it was not included in the heritage listed boundary.

Because the development was considered code assessable, there was no public notification of the project and the owners of Conon were not informed, nor were any other adjoining neighbours. There was no Statement of Heritage Impact prepared, thus the development was not designed to be sympathetic to Conon.

The development comprises a very large 8-storey retirement facility with most of the bulk and height on the side adjoining Conon. It will be clearly visible from inside the house and from within the grounds. It will tower behind the main elevation of Conon and significant views within the garden will be lost and overshadowed.

Trust Stance: The National Trust of Australia (Queensland) encourages careful development with good design – we showcase the results of this with our annual Heritage Awards. We understand that most developments are balancing a myriad of issues and constraints and we welcome a collaborative approach with developers to assist with refining their designs so that the significance of our heritage is no adversely impacted by development.

We are not opposed to a retirement facility being built on the proposed site. However, we believe that the proposed development should have impact assessable so that the significance of Conon and its setting is retained and not negatively affected.

The National Trust of Australia (Queensland) believes that Brisbane City Council’s method of approving this development via code assessable development and involving no notification or public notification should not have occurred. We recommend that a Stop Order be placed on the proposed development by the Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef so that the following actions can be taken:

  • A thorough and robust Heritage Impact Statement be prepared by a qualified and suitably experienced heritage consultant;
  • Community consultation be undertaken;
  • A re-design of the project occurs, post Impact Statement, which provides an adequate buffer between the development and Conon and which steps the development back from the common boundary, so that the higher levels are further away from the significant setting and view lines.

Trust Action: For the first time in the history of the National Trust of Australia (Queensland), our organisation has requested that the Minister for the Environment and Great Barrier Reef place a Stop Order on the proposed development so that our recommended actions can take place. We have requested the Stop Order via email and presented the letter to eth Minister’s office. We have informed our members via email and Facebook, and alerted the media to our stance.

Development Applications:
DA# A004628058 Laura Street and Lowerson Street, Lutwyche
DA# A004756525 Laura Street, Lutwyche and Thalia Court, Corinda

Media Release: 22 December 2017

What you can do We need your help! Please read our letter to the Minister and then write your own letter to the Minister requesting that they implement our recommendations and issue the Stop Order. Every letter counts – it’s time to activate your voice!

Originally posted on the The National Trust of Australia (Queensland) website: www.nationaltrust.org.au



ASHA Blog Editor

Welcome to 2018 and a new year of the ASHA News blog! We at ASHA hope that you have had a relaxing holiday break and are looking forward to an exciting new year.

Here at the ASHA Blog, we will be continuing to provide our members and other interested parties with information about what is going on in the world of historical archaeology in Australia, New Zealand and the wider Pacific region. This means more posts about research, excavations, upcoming events and Artefacts of the Month!

You can sign up to the RSS feed, found on the left side of the blog, in order to receive an email update each time a new blog post hits the site. And remember: as part of the ASHA membership, you also receive a quarterly blog summary email, so sign up as a member HERE.

We are very proud to say that over the last year the blog has gained many viewers. Previous to the revamp in January 2017 the blog averaged 175 views per month. By the second half of 2017 the ASHA News blog  was averaging of 1,200 views per month! This year we are looking to recieve more submissions from historical archaeologists all over Australasia, so if you'd like some free exposure for your excavation or research, if you've got an upcoming event you'd like to advertise, or if you simply want to show off that wonderfully interesting artefact you've excavated please send an email to blog@asha.org.au or to your local regional representitive (whose email addresses can be found HERE).

We're excited to see what happens in Australasian Historical Archaeology in 2018, thanks for joining us!



Compiled by Richard Morrison

In October 2017, the Australian Government noted the discovery of the wreck of SS Macumba, sunk during the Second World War by Japanese air attack in the Arafura Sea north-east of Darwin. The wreckage has now been protected as a declared shipwreck under Australia’s Historic Shipwrecks Act. The merchant ship SS Macumba left Sydney, carrying supplies for Darwin. It never arrived, with two Japanese floatplanes bombing the vessel on 6 August 1943, resulting in the loss of three lives. See http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/frydenberg/media-releases/mr20171005.html



Compiled by Richard Morrison

Of relevance to members,from the Heritage Branch, Department of the Environment (Cwlth), the Abbotsford Convent, Yarra City, (Vic) and the Parramatta Female Factory and Institutions Precinct, (NSW), have been added to the National Heritage List (NHL) in the last few months.

Abbotsford Convent For more than 100 years the Convent, provided shelter, food, education and work for tens of thousands of women and children who experienced poverty, neglect and social disadvantage. Run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd from 1863 to 1974, the Convent’s harsh conditions and hours of long work offered few comforts but provided shelter for desperate women and girls through the great Depression, two World Wars and other social upheavals.

Abbotsford Convent shows the role of religious and charitable institutions in Australia’s social and welfare history during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Convent’s asylum laundry is a rare surviving example of its type within Australia, reflecting the social attitudes of the time. For further information see http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/national/abbotsford-convent

Parramatta Female Factory and Institutions Precinct From 1821 onwards, tens of thousands of women and children passed through this place in the care and custody of the state. The Precinct, which housed female convicts, orphaned children, and vulnerable girls and young women, is considered a leading example of a site which demonstrates Australia’s social welfare history.

Institutionalisation was a core part of Australia’s welfare system over two centuries, and the Precinct is outstanding in its capacity to tell the stories of women and children in institutions over the course of Australian history. It includes a rare surviving example of a convict female factory, and offers us the opportunity to find out even more about convicts experiences as a potential source of future archaeological finds. See http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/national/parramatta-female-factory-and-institutions-precinct

Australia’s National Heritage List - the story so far by Australian Heritage Council (2017) - The NHL is now considered to be at a stage of development that the ‘remarkable story of our unique country is emerging with some clarity and impact’. This recent book, tells the stories of the places on the current list, and setting them in their wider context, and is intended to assist us to appreciate the nature of the journey so far, pointing towards ‘a future defined by the aspirations of the descendants of the continent’s first peoples and by the hopes and dreams of those who have come to live here from every country in the world’. See http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/ahc/publications/australias-national-heritage-list         



Stephanie Moore

I was lucky enough last month to attend the joint ASHA/Interpretation Australia conference in Tasmania. Being new to both the ASHA conference world, and Tassie itself, Iain kindly suggested I might be the best person to provide a ‘review’ of this conference at our next Archaeology at the Pub gathering.


I kindly obliged and prepared myself with a small presentation of images from the trip and some thoughts on the how the conference ran, what I enjoyed, and what I would do differently next time. I presented this to a small, but enthusiastic crowd at The Shakespeare Hotel; many of whom had been at the conference and were happy to share their thoughts with me. We all settled in with a schooner and the increasingly popular complementary wedges to relive the scenery and the event.


We all generally agreed that the conference was thoroughly enjoyable, and that the travelling element provided a unique and interesting approach. We felt that there could have been a few less papers on the bill, as the long days made for an exhausting week – and we felt terrible for the poor presenters who drew the short straw of last session for the day! The presentations were varied in subject matter and style, and provided a good balance between the two disciplines. The opportunity to discuss with, and learn from, colleagues in the Interpretation field was also valuable, allowing many of us to walk away with renewed enthusiasm. There was unanimous agreement that the Shene Estate Gin Distillery was a winner as far as destinations went (both for the heritage value and the sneaky gin tasting). Overall, when considering the phenomenal 11 destinations and countless papers that were packed into this year’s conference, I would say it was a roaring success.

We hope to see you next time for Happy Hour beers and a plate of wedges!



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.



Bronwyn Woff, ASHA Blog Editor

Welcome to the final Artefact of the Month (AotM) post for 2017! I hope that you have enjoyed reading the articles put together by our members about interesting artefacts they’ve come across.

We started AotM in February, with ‘Absinthe Bottles at Little Lon’ by Dr Sarah Hayes, and followed with two more articles on glass in March and April – ‘Bullseye! Pontilled Window Glass’ by Bronwyn Woff and ‘Kirin Beer Bottle’ by Melissa Dunk. In May Catherine Tucker shared with us an engraved fork excavated from a Pentridge Prison rubbish tip. In June we headed across the ditch to check out a variety of ceramics excavated from Christchurch in an article by Jessie Garland. 'French Fire Bricks' were our next Artefact of the Month article, with the first of three articles for the year by Felicity Buckingham and Zvonka Stanin. In August Fiona Shanahan showed how artefacts can provide us with proof of once-off events, with the camera lens of a F-52 photoreconnaissance camera used in WWII. In September we continued the aeroplane-related theme, with Miss Australia Air League Badges from the 1950s by Felicity Buckingham. Our ASHA Secretary Caiti D’Gluyas provided us with an interesting look at ‘The Hated Stain’ of convictism through a medal commemorating the Cessation of Convict Transportation in October and we rounded off the year with a final AotM article by Zvonka Stanin demonstrating the fashion of men’s Broad Fall Trousers.

Thanks go out to the authors of each of our submissions for 2017. We are currently looking for Artefact of the Month articles for 2018, so if you have an artefact that you’re interested in writing about (or just want to show it off to fellow archaeologists!) then please email blog@asha.org.au



Caitlin Allen

The first Sydney ASHA reading group session was held in August and hosted by GML. ASHA members from a range of backgrounds including museums, archaeological consultancy and academia discussed a number of articles about archaeological interpretation. This theme was chosen as a lead in to the joint ASHA and Interpretation Australia conference in Tasmania, held in October.

The readings by Francis McManamon, Kenneth Lewis, Tracy Ireland and the NSW Heritage Council encompassed a broad range of approaches to and opinions about archaeological interpretation. Inspired by the readings, the discussion freewheeled through a range of issues including:

  • interpretation is an important way of delivering “public benefit” from archaeological projects. It was noted that this benefit is not well defined or understood.
  • physical evidence (artefacts and in situ remains) as the anchor for the interpretation;
  • interpretation on site during excavation versus interpretation afterwards;
  • whether interpretation without physical evidence (ie: based on signage; leaflets; technology etc.) can work;
  • the limitations of archaeology presented behind glass with a preference for archaeological interpretation to be tactile, experiential and accessible;
  • the checkbox mentality and its impact on quality outcomes;
  • whether interpretation can be a mitigation measure for archaeological site destruction;
  • challenging the idea that there is a correct way to interpret archaeological sites and the popular archaeological interpretations, which may take license with the historic “facts” are to be avoided;
  • developers using archaeological interpretation as a branding exercise;
  • the perception that interpretation is undertaken by experts to educate the general public, rather than by communities themselves (an attitude evident in the NSW Heritage Council Interpretation guidelines).

A number of examples of archaeological interpretation at Parramatta were highlighted in the discussion and so a walking tour of these sites was arranged a few weeks later. A number of ASHA members who hadn't come to the reading group joined us for the walking tour, which included: Parramatta Justice Precinct, where in situ remains and artefact displays are contained in an outdoor courtyard area and there are significant environmental issues that impact the visibility of the remains; sites in Smith Street which include interpretive signage, an artwork made using objects from the excavation and coloured street paving to represent former building footprints; and the very newly opened convict hut site at V By Crown in Macquarie Street, where a large area of in situ remains is visible underneath a new luxury apartment building, along with artefacts, signage and a video presentation of the excavation, conservation and interpretation of the site.


A convict hut site at V By Crown in Macquarie Street, where a large area of in situ remains is visible underneath a new luxury apartment building, along with artefacts, signage and a video presentation of the excavation, conservation and interpretation of the site. (Source: Caitlin Allen)

The next Sydney ASHA reading group event will be held on the 30th November on the topic of industrial archaeology and heritage. Please RSVP to secretary@asha.org.au if you would like to attend or require further details.



Helen Ross FEIANZ, AJEM Editor

A major part of Australian and New Zealand identity is made up of our spirit and ingenuity, our heritage places, and our unique living landscapes. Heritage is a legacy from our past, a living, integral part of life today, and the stories and places we pass on to future generations.

The EIANZ has recently established a Heritage Special Interest Section. Its aim is to develop and promote knowledge about heritage as an essential element of the environment as well as to improve professional practice and recognition of heritage practitioners.

To further these aims, we are seeking to compile the first heritage special issue of the EIANZ journal, the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management (AJEM). The focus of the AJEM is on policy and practice, and we welcome submissions of abstracts on any aspect of these themes. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
* Is policy and practice in Australia and New Zealand effectively protecting heritage?
* Are our heritage practices adequate to interpret and conserve the past, to help us understand our environment, and to pass that legacy on to the future?
* Engagement of stakeholders in heritage
* Case studies of successful collaborative projects where heritage has been integrated with other environmental practice
* How would effective policy for Intangible heritage and heritage landscapes look?
* Multiple uses for heritage
* What is heritage anyway?

Submission Process:
Papers will be reviewed following the AJEM double‐blind review process. Expressions of interest to publish, along with an abstract, should be submitted to the guest editors, Richard Sharp FEIANZ CEnvP and Vanessa Hardy MEIANZ M.ICOMOS by 20 February 2018. Following acceptance of the EOI and abstract, full papers should be submitted by 30 August 2018 by online submission to the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management Scholar One Manuscripts. Papers should be prepared using the AJEM Guidelines. The guest editors welcome informal enquiries related to the proposed topics.