Conference Committee

ASHA and IA are pleased to announce the sessions for the 2017 joint conference entitled 'Travelling Stories' which will take place in October in Tasmania. We welcome all proposals for papers or presentations but especially those that fit in one of the sessions or with the general theme of the conference. There is currently room in the draft programme for both ASHA and IA to have a ‘general’ session where papers or presentations on any topic might be scheduled. However, please be aware that if new sessions are developed or existing sessions attract large numbers of proposals, these general sessions may be curtailed or dropped.

The list of sessions (which can be found here) is divided into:

  • ‘Joint Sessions’ which will be scheduled as plenaries; there will be no other concurrent sessions
  • ‘ASHA Sessions’ which will have a focus on historical archaeology but which are open to all to present in and attend. These will be concurrent with IA sessions and possibly other ASHA sessions
  • ‘IA Sessions’ which will have a focus on interpretation but which are open to all to present in and attend. These will be concurrent with ASHA sessions and possibly other IA sessions.

For more details about the call for papers/presentations, the sessions, how to submit or other general conference information, please see the following link:

And remember: early-bird registrations are now open!

To register please click the link below:

NASC Australia Committee

This year at NASC 2017 we are taking abstract submissions of 250 words for three categories, they are as follows:

Research Presentations:
  • A presentation of any original archaeological research conducted by or partly by the speaker. This could be research at any level of study (Honours, Masters, PhD etc). All types of research will be considered. Time limits will be announced closer to the date of the conference.
Excavation presentations:
  • A presentation of 5 minutes with 2 minutes of question time. The presentation is to cover details of an excavation which the speaker took part in. All types of excavation will be considered with the aim to give students the opportunity to hear about excavations happening globally. Speakers are advised to discuss their experiences, how they became involved in the excavation and any tips they have for people participating in an excavation.
Poster submissions:
  • A poster discussing any original work undertaken by or partly by the person submitting the poster. There is a size limit of 841 x 1189 mm (A0 size).
  • Poster submissions may be by individuals or as a group.

If you would like to present in one or more categories please fill out the form at:

Submissions for abstracts close on 1st August 2017

ASHA/IA Conference Committee

We are pleased to announce that registrations for the Travelling Stories Conference are now open! Options include registration for the whole conference (October 10th - 13th), or single days, as well as two optional conference-related tours, and the conference dinner.

Full registrations cover:
October 10th: attendance at the opening evening event in Launceston
October 11th: full day conference sessions in Launceston at The Tramsheds
October 12th: day trip by coach from Launceston to Hobart via key places along the Midlands Highway (the World Heritage-listed Brickendon Estate; Ross; and either Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary or Shene Estate)
October 13th: full day conference sessions in Hobart at The Baha’i Centre for Learning (morning and lunch) and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (afternoon)
Morning tea, a light lunch and afternoon tea on October 11th, 12th and 13th

Two optional tours are available:
October 10th, Visit to Oura Oura in the Liffey Valley (numbers limited to 24) - $20.00
October 14th, Port Arthur Seminar, Port Arthur Historic Site (numbers limited to 50) - $50.00

An early bird rate will apply to registrations until August 31st

For full details and to register please follow the link below.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Please read the instructions for registering carefully before booking; it is most important that a new booking is completed for each individual wishing to attend the conference. The instructions can be found on the registration page.

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:

Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

The Broken Hill City Council are taking steps to discover if the city is able to be added to the World Heritage Register, following it being recently added to the National Heritage Register in 2015. Through the potential listing, the Council aims to diversify the economy in the area, by increasing tourism and tackling the population decline that it is currently experiencing.

For more information, please see the following links:;place_id=105861

Image: Broken Hill Town Hall, sourced from the National Heritage Listing website, as above.

ICOFORT and Australia ICOMOS

ICOFORT – the International Scientific Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage – was formed by ICOMOS in 2005 and was established to engage with the heritage conservation issues related to structures, landscapes and monuments associated with military heritage. There is now an Australia ICOMOS National Scientific Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage. This talk by Dr Matthew Kelly is designed to introduce members to some aspects of military heritage around the world and in Australia and to also announce the development of the National Scientific Committee focusing on Australian military and conflict heritage. This introductory talk will also hopefully encourage ICOMOS members to consider joining this new National Scientific Committee and engage with the issues related to managing this form of heritage in a modern world. The talk will be preceded by a free tour of the Dawes Point Battery, with Denis Gojak.

Thursday 15 June 2017

Tour: Dawes Point under the Sydney Harbour Bridge south side starts at 5:15pm for 5.30pm sharp directed by Denis Gojak regarding the Dawes Point Battery.

Talk: The Big Dig, The Rocks, 110 Cumberland St, Sydney NSW 2000 at 6:15pm for 6:30pm sharp after the tour.

Students $5, Members $10, Non-members $15 all payable at the Big Dig in cash.

RSVP: via email to Louise Cox Bookings are essential as places are limited.

For more information, please see the following link:

Compiled by Bronwyn Woff =

Members in New South Wales and beyond may be interested in the following article which discusses the upcoming sale of the Heritage Listed Sydney GPO, which was opened in 1874, by Australia Post. For more information, please see the following link:

Image: Powerhouse Museum "General Post Office, Sydney"

Alex Rose, Lithodomos VR Marketing Director

Lithodomos VR presented at the recent SHAP workshop in Sydney. The technology they produce may be of interest for site interpretations.

Shortly after its seed funding round earlier this year, Lithodomos VR further cemented its reputation as the leading archaeology VR content production studio when it took to the road on an European tour of epic proportions in order to showcase samples of its work. Fellow archaeologists, museums directors, tour operators and university students were spellbound and delighted in: Spain, Italy, Malta, Israel, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Portugal. Those who experienced Lithodomos VR’s archaeologically accurate content were consistently astonished and delighted by what they saw. The excitement was most tangible when demonstrations took place at archaeological sites at precisely georeferenced locations. “I think it helps you engage more, especially when some of what’s left is just at the bottom of a pillar”, remarked a young British visitor to the Athenian agora.

Lithodomos VR is being secretive about its future projects. However, it has indicated that their mobile VR experience will soon be deployed at two major European locations. “We’re working on something that’s unlike anything we’ve ever done before,” stated a company spokesperson. “Tourism, archaeology, and education will never be the same again.”

For more information please see:

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:

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.

Bronwyn Woff, ASHA Blog Editor

The presentation for the Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioner’s Workshop covered the change ASHA has recently enacted from having a quarterly newsletter to an online news blog and quarterly blog summary. This occurred between December and April 2017. The blog can be found at .

In the past, ASHA’s newsletter was sent out to members quarterly, the last edition of which was sent out to members in January 2017. The ASHA news blog was launched on the 1st of January 2017 and aims to share current news and information with members so that they are up to date with the goings on of historical archaeology in Australasia. The news blog includes articles on research and excavation, news about upcoming events and an artefact of the month article, the content of which is supplied by our members and discovered through the various avenues of the internet.

Why a blog?
According to the Pennsylvania State University, a blog is “a simple platform to share information to an audience on a timely basis around a single or multiple topics”.

    The positives include:
  • Information is released more regularly
  • More recent information (newsletters can quickly contain out-of-date material, especially with a long lag time between editions)
  • Easier to access on mobile devices
  • Provide smaller chunks of information - easier and quicker for readers to process
  • less time consuming to edit and manipulate than an e-newsletter and therefore more information can be distributed
  • More visitors to the site - search engines are more likely to suggest a regularly updated site
    The negatives we have encountered include:
  • Lack of understanding about using a blog
  • Currently, no automatic updates each time something is posted (we’re working on this)
  • For the editor, needing to learn a little about coding, and the blog posting system
    How to find the blog:
  • Go to
  • Go to the ASHA home page ( and on the menu at the top of the page, click on the “News” button
  • Go to the ASHA home page ( and scroll down to “Latest News”
  • On the mobile site, click on Menu on the top right, then from the menu, select “News”
  • Click any of the links when you receive a members only News Blog Summary email

The News Blog:
On the first news blog page the past 10 posts will load, and older posts can be viewed using the page number menu at the bottom of the page. Click “Read Post” to view the whole article that you are interested in. To the left of the page at the top, there is a link to each of the past 10 blog posts under “Recent Posts”. Below this there is a “Topics” menu, which can be used to filter the blog for one topic at a time, as listed. These include the region related to the post, the type of post (eg: upcoming events), and broad topics.

Quarterly Blog Summary:
As a members-only benefit, a summary of the blog posts from the previous quarter is sent out by email. So far, only one summary has been sent out, which was for early April, with the next ones set for early July, October and then January 2018. The blog summary email is in replacement of the newsletter, and outlines the titles of all the posts from the previous quarter. Members can then click the links for the posts that interest them and read the full articles on the blog.

The ASHA news blog has taken over a page which was previously reserved for news updates, which were posted every couple of months. This page previously had an average of approximately 175 views per month. Now that the blog is posting approximately every 2 to 3 days, we are receiving an increasing number of views per month. In April we hit a total of 908 views.

We would love to hear more about what you are all doing in the field, and in your research! So if you have some research or excavation news you would like to share, an interesting artefact you could write about, or an upcoming event that you would like to share with a wider audience please send a submission through to either your regional representative (found HERE) or to . We also accept other historical archaeology related articles that don’t fit into these categories.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the ASHA News Blog.