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ASHA NEWS


Bronwyn Woff, Research Associate, La Trobe University

The fragment of glass illustrated in the images below was found in the 1988 excavation season of Melbourne's Little Lon district. This area was reported to be a slum, with a mixed use of domestic and light industrial lots.


Crown glass window pane fragment. LL71844 Historical Archaeology Collection, Museums Victoria. Images: Bronwyn Woff

The glass fragment is the central panel of a spun crown glass sheet, which was created in the manufacture of glass for window panes. Hot glass was spun on a pontil rod so that it slowly spread into a large disc up to 1400mm wide. Because of this manufacturing technique, the glass was thicker at the centre than at the edges. The majority of glass imported to Australia from Britain before 1834 was manufactured in this way, as taxes and duties were lower than for other manufacturing techniques (Boow, 1991 pp.100-102). This glass fragment can be dated to between 1788 and the 1860s (Boow, 1991 pp.100-104).

Crown Glass being spun flat by glass makers. Image from “Glass in Architecture and Decoration” by Raymond McGrath & A.C. Frost, 2nd Edition, London, 1961 [1937], p. 75 via : https://blog.mcny.org/2014/11/25/whats-in-an-artifact-crown-glass/    (accessed February 28, 2017.)

In this case, the whole sheet was used and the central section was cut into a pane of glass with the "bulls eye" pontil mark in place. In some cases, these were ground out or otherwise modified so that the pontil mark was not evident, but in this example the snapped off pontil mark protrudes at least 5mm from the flat glass. One straight-cut edge of the window pane is present on the shortest side. Because of the flaw present in the glass, this window pane would have been much cheaper to purchase than a thin, outer fragment and this may reflect the buying power of the owners of the residential property where it was found at Little Lon.

 


"Spectactular clear bullseye glass panes in an English house" via: http://www.peachridgeglass.com/2012/04/the-bulls-eye-glass-pane/  (accessed February 28, 2017)


Bronwyn is currently working as a subcontracting archaeologist, cataloger and analyst. She is contactable via: bronwyn_woff@outlook.com.au
Ian Evans

Tasmanian Evil-averting Marks

The Tasmanian Magic Project has released a video which aims to enlist the aid of the general public in finding evil-averting marks. It’s hoped the video will raise awareness of the existence of these marks on old houses and buildings and so aid in the re-discovery of the lost and secret history of magic in 19th-century Australia.

Several marks are illustrated and it is hoped that further marks and new reports of known marks will be passed to the Magic Project as a result of the video. People who watch the video are encouraged to get in touch if they have seen any magic marks. The video was produced by Ruth Hazleton, folklore researcher and musician of Melbourne.

The video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/tMmaWwrAXHY.

Issued by the Tasmanian Magic Project
PO Box 591
Mullumbimby NSW 2482
Phone 0455 173 456
Email evansthebook@gmail.com

Sarah Hayes

Absinthe Bottles and Prostitution in Early Colonial Melbourne

This absinthe bottle is one of 10 recovered from a rubbish pit associated with Mrs Bond’s grocer in Melbourne’s notorious Little Lon district. Absinthe, or the green fairy, was a hallucinogenic alcoholic drink available from the 18th century but reaching new heights of popularity in bohemian Paris in the late-19th century; coinciding nicely with the timing of Mrs Bond’s grocery. But was it a grocery? The absinthe bottles, along with French champagne bottles and 300 oyster shells, have led us to reinterpret the use of this site. Mrs Bond had been operating brothels in Little Lon for years and the historical documents gave the impression she had given it all up to run a respectable grocery business. The artefacts tell a different story. It seems her grocery was actually a cover for a high class brothel.

Sarah's professional facebook page, where this information was originally posted, can be found at:
https://www.facebook.com/SarahHResearch/?fref=ts

(Photos by Bronwyn Woff)

Originally posted by Elizabeth Foley

Registration is still open for the Victorian Archaeology Colloquium, to be held at La Trobe University on Friday 3 February 2017. Registration is inclusive of morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Please register via https://latrobe.onestopsecure.com/onestopweb/LTUEv/createbooking?e=ASSC_EV49

Program
8:30 Registration
9:00-9:30 Welcome to Country
9:30-10:00 Introduction
10:00-11:00 Session 1: Approaches: Methods and objectives
11:00-11:30 Morning tea
11:30-12:30 Session 2: Site-specific investigations
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Session 3: Regional Victoria
2:30-3:00 Afternoon tea
3:00-4:00 Session 4: Living on the edge: detection, recording and meaning of Aboriginal archaeological sites in Victoria
4:00-4:30 Conclusion