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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



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



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



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         



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.



National Trust of Australia (QLD)

"Head in the Cloudlands – is there too much idealism in heritage?” The Trust Talks, our speaker series aiming at opening the doors for innovation, collaboration and celebration of our heritage, is going underground into the Springhill Reservoir in December. The evening will include the opportunity to network with friends and colleagues, drinks on arrival, cheese platters and canapes, the debate, and an exclusive Christmas performance from the Underground Opera in the Reservoir! This is an event not to be missed.

In the days before adequate protection for heritage places was introduced, The National Trust of Australia (Queensland) was once known as the community group who stopped development – their arsenal was picket lines, protests and rallies. Fast forward two decades and Queensland now has statutory heritage registers, a statewide Heritage Council and requirements to ensure that the demolition of heritage such as ‘Cloudlands’ could never happen again. But does the heritage industry have its head in the Cloudlands? Are we at risk of being left off the negotiation table if we rigidly stick to stringent guidelines? In our quest for heritage protection, have we lost sight of the bigger picture and is this detrimental to our cause?

The Trust Talks: The Debate brings together 4 renowned experts and advocates to debate this timely topic, including: Dr Meredith Walker, Dr Andrew Sneddon, Christina Cho and Jane Alexander.

Thursday 7th December, 5pm for a 6pm start. For further information and ticketing, go to: www.nationaltrust.org.au/event/the-trust-talks-the-debate/



Sean Winter

In the first half of 2017 Winterborne Heritage conducted archaeological investigations at the State Heritage registered Artillery Drill Hall (Figure 1) in Fremantle on behalf of the National Trust of Western Australia. The Drill Hall was in need of reflooring which also involved significant restumping, and this precipitated the need for excavations inside the building and under the existing floors, prior to ground disturbing floor repairs taking place.


Fig 1: Drill Hall Exterior (supplied by Sean Winter)

The Drill Hall was constructed in 1895, but before that, from 1850, the site was part of the Fremantle Convict Cantonment and is thus within the curtilage of the World Heritage site Fremantle Prison. Documentary evidence indicates that the Drill Hall was built partly over a yard allocated to Sappers of the Royal Engineers and their families, and partly over an area shown as “gardens”. At the end of the convict period in 1886 the land was handed over to the colonial government, and in 1895 was allocated to the military for the construction of one of a number of Drill Halls throughout the Perth metropolitan area. It was retained by the military until the early 1980s, when it was slated for demolition, but was ultimately saved by a community campaign. From 1986 until 2015 the building was used as the Fly-By-Night Musicians Club, a live music venue for local and international acts.


Fig 2: Drill Hall Interior excavations (supplied by Sean Winter)

The internal Drill Hall space measures 21m x 27m and floor repairs were needed throughout this entire area (figure 2). A thick layer of dust had built up under the floor boards on top of existing sediments, and this meant that the underfloor area was extremely dry, with excellent organic preservation. The nature of the construction of the building meant that the joists and bearers sat either on top of, or very close to, the underlying sediment, which limited horizontal movement of artefacts, and this meant that we had high confidence that artefacts were in-situ when recovered.


Fig 3: Garden stakes with 1m scale (supplied by Sean Winter)

It soon became clear that the Drill Hall had been constructed directly over the top of an existing garden area, and that a large amount of convict period material culture had been protected by this construction. Hundreds of roughly cut garden stakes (figure 3) were recovered, many with twine and string still attached, evidence that the gardens were probably being used for the growing of vegetables. Soil samples are yet to be analysed, but we hope that pollen, seeds and other evidence will be able to indicate what type of plants exactly were being grown here. There were also a large number of leather shoes recovered, as well as delicate textiles. Shoe remains are ubiquitous when excavating in the yards at Fremantle Prison, but those tend to be one design – prisoners’ boots. In contrast the shoes recovered here, less than 100m outside the walls of the prison, span a wide range of styles, including ladies’ and childrens’ shoes, indicating perhaps the footwear favoured by the sappers and their families.


Fig 4: WWII military sign (supplied by Sean Winter)

From the Drill Hall period a wide range of military artefacts were recovered, including clothing parts (eg buttons), bullet cartridges, and a metal sign dated January 1943 (figure 4). Also recovered was a shuttlecock made of cork and rattan, evidence that badminton was played recreationally inside the building.

Quite a large number of artefacts were also recovered representative of the Fly-By-Night period, including parts of musical instruments (eg guitar strings, broken drum sticks, plectrums), graffiti, numerous artefacts related to the consumption of mind altering substances, both legal (eg alcohol containers) and illegal (eg syringes), and a large amount of cheap jewellery and other items of adornment.


Fig 5: Craven cigarette packet (supplied by Sean Winter)

One particular artefact class that can be seen from all three periods, is smoking material. From the convict period this is largely represented by clay pipes, but the excellent organic preservation meant that significant amounts of paper was also preserved and recovered in excellent condition. This meant that cigarette packets, match boxes and cigarette papers (figures 5 and 6) were recovered dating from throughout the 20th century. The Fly-By-Night Club was the first music venue in Australia to go smoke free, perhaps as early as 1990, so smoking material related to that period tends to be illicit, with the remains of numerous marijuana joints recovered.


Fig 6: Kali Match Box (supplied by Sean Winter)

The majority of the artefact assemblage is yet to be analysed, but the exceptional organic preservation in the underfloor area means that a large number of fragile artefacts havethat would normally not survive archaeologically, have done so from all three periods of site use. We hope that this will provide us with new understandings about lifeways in Fremantle in the 19th and 20th centuries. A number of journal papers will be published in future on archaeological work at this site, with the first related to the Fly-By-Night period soon to be submitted for publication.



Rebekah Hawkins, Rhian Jones and Jane Rooke (Casey and Lowe)

It’s A Riot! - Celebrating strong women and their stories

On Friday 27 October Casey and Lowe were invited to join the Parramatta Female Factory Friends (PFFF) in their annual celebration of ‘It’s a Riot’ Day. It was a great honour to join in these celebrations and help tell just some of the stories marking 199 years (next year will be a big one) since the Factory was built.



Display table at ‘It’s a Riot’ day.

The Parramatta Female Factory was the first purpose built Factory in the colony, established as a place of assignment and of secondary punishment as well as a marriage bureau. It also included a hospital which was open to the women of the Factory and free settler women. In 1818 Governor Macquarie laid the first foundation stone, and three years later 112 convict women were transferred to the Factory. The number of women residing at the Factory increased dramatically throughout the 1830s and 1840s due to the large number of women transported from England and Ireland. By 1827 overcrowding, dissatisfaction with rations and declining living conditions led to possibly the first female workers’ riot in Australia. This riot was one of five that are known to have occurred at the factory, with many more occurring across the site during its time as an Asylum and Girl’s Reformatory. The Factory closed in 1848 and the site was converted into the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum.