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ASHA NEWS



Prof Richard Mackay

The Heritage Council of Victoria is considering the feasibility of preparing a new ‘Victorian Heritage Strategy’. The previous strategy – Victoria’s Heritage: Strengthening Our Communities – operated between 2006 and 2010, but in the period since there have been significant changes, which provide the context for considering a new Heritage Strategy.

Mackay Strategic (Richard Mackay) has been commissioned to prepare a ‘feasibility study’ which looks at the opportunities, scope and implications for a new Victorian Heritage Strategy. As part of this process, stakeholders in Victoria’s Heritage are being invited to use this short survey to express opinions about a new heritage strategy – the merits, issues, opportunities and priorities at the outset of the feasibility assessment.

The survey can be accessed here and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. (Please note that it is best to avoid Internet Explorer or to ensure that internet settings are Google compatible). Your contribution by 30 September would be greatly appreciated.



Auckland Heritage

The Auckland Heritage Festival is on from 30 September to 15 October. This spring, hit the streets and waterways to discover the stories and secretes of Auckland's heritage! For more details, including details about upcoming walks,, talks, workshops, exhibitions and entertainment, please see: http://www.heritagefestival.co.nz/



Caitlin D'Gluyas

Following our first reading group event (with the theme of interpreting historical archaeology) in August, ASHA will host a casual/informal walking tour of Parramatta on Saturday, the 23rd September. This will be a chance to have a look around at some interpretive displays of historical archaeology. Perhaps some food for thought for the upcoming conference (don't forget to register for the conference by COB on Wednesday 20th September).

The walk will start at 2:30pm, meeting at the convict hut site on the corner of Marsden and Macquarie Streets. We'll be meeting on the steps out the front of the site. Final list of sites to visit to be confirmed, but please let us know if there is somewhere that you'd like to see. The tentative list includes: Bakers Mews-50 O’Connell Street, 25 Smith Street, 1 Parramatta Square.

On the same day, GML is also having an open day (another form of interpretation to talk about!) of the Parramatta RSL site, which can be booked through the RSL website. The last tour will be at 1:00pm, so you could book and attend that before the walking tour if you're interested. Book through the RSL reception: (02) 8865 5100. For more details: http://www.gml.com.au/lawn-bowl-thing-past/



ASHA/IA Conference Committee

The "Travelling Stories" joint ASHA and Interpretation Australia conference is just around the corner. Is there a seat with your name on it on the bus and you just haven't gotten around to registering yet? Don't forget that registrations close 5pm on the 20th September and seats are filling up fast.

For more information and to register follow this link: http://portarthur.org.au/activities/travelling-stories-registration/



Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

Excavations 25 graves, which uncovered the remains of 27 individuals, has recently been completed at Milton cemetery in the south of New Zealands's South Island. The excavations are part of research being conducted in partnership with Tokomaririro Project 60 (TP60) and the Anglican Church. The research will look into the lives of the first settlers to the area - where they came from, what hardships they endured in life, and which current members of the town formerly known as Tokomairiro or Tokomairaro are related to them.

For more information, please see: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/08/16/42910/how-tough-was-life-in-colonial-new-zealand



Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

Legislation in NSW that curbs the use of rail corridors for activites other than train use are changing, with a cycle and walking path to be installed between Rosewood and Turrumburra on an unused section of rail track. A single track line between Picton and Mittagong will be reinstated for use by heritage trains from the NSW Rail Museum, as well as a walking and cycling track alongside the same stretch the track.

For more information, see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-22/picton-to-mittagong-return-of-the-age-of-steam/8781430



Compiled by Richard Morrison

The 2016 Australia State of the Environment (SOE) Report (Overview) was tabled in Parliament in March 2017 to provide a basis for government policy makers to undertake more informed decisions about the environment. The SOE is a five-yearly series of authoritative, national environmental overviews (begun in 1996) and continues the ‘report card’ approach of assessments of pressures, condition and trends; discussions of risk and resilience; and future projections or ‘outlooks’ that were first implemented in SOE 2011.

The Meeting of Environment Ministers (Commonwealth, State and Territory) agreed in Melbourne on the 28 July 2017 to ‘work together to identify opportunities for cross-government collaboration to address concerns raised in the report’. It is hoped that this agreement, where the relevant minister does not have heritage responsibilities, will also bind the respective jurisdictional heritage minister.

The author of the substantial heritage theme contribution to the 2016 SOE was Professor Richard Mackay AM.

The link to this SOE theme can be found at: https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/heritage and the entire report can be found at http://www.environment.gov.au/science/soe. Links to the various SOE reports, compiled in their own independent processes, by individual state and territories, can also be found here.



Caiti D'Gluyas, Helen Nicholson and Iain Stuart

Fancy catching up over a cleansing ale with fellow archaeologists? Or, perhaps you just wish to meet people you don’t know or may not have seen for a while? ASHA is looking to expand opportunities for networking and professional development and would appreciate your input and ideas.

‘Archaeology in the Pub’ is popular in the UK where a short talk is given followed by discussions. Interested? Then come along to the Shakespeare Hotel from 5.30 pm on Thursday 14 September. Enjoy free bar snacks and help us shape future Archaeology in the Pub and professional development events.

The Shakespeare Hotel is at 200 Devonshire Street in Surry Hills, just a few minutes walk from the Southern exit of Central Station.

It would be helpful (but not essential) if you could RSVP to secretary@asha.org.au.



Simon Blight

Restoration work is currently being undertaken by the Southern Midlands Council on the 1827 Commissariat building (see above image, provided by Simon Blight), the oldest building in the Oatlands Military precinct. The council purchased the Commissariat and the later Victorian shop & cottage, which both stand on the same block at 79 High Street, Oatlands. Both buildings are currently being restored, a process which aims to retain as much original fabric as possible. Wheere this is not possible a like for like approach is being utilised. The restoration work is being undertaken by the Centre for Heritage, Heritage Education and Skills Centre and the Heritage Re-Generation project participants – a heritage building skills training program for youth 16-24 years of age. Once complete, the shop and cottage building will be returned to the community for their use, and the Commissariat will be used for Heritage Education and Skill Centre training.

The Commissariat was built of sandstone atop a steep slope to house provisions for the military and convicts. Originally a guardhouse stood nearby the Commissariat to house the corporal and privates who guarded to convict chain gang. The guardhouse was demolished in the 1970s.

Archaeologically monitored clearance of the underfloor of the skillion has revealed many interesting discoveries from the topsoil, which has not been disturbed for decades. An area of built up soil from the 1840s timber skillion was removed to allow work on the timber framework and to reveal the footing of the building. The soil was sieved  and revealed numerous ceramic and glass fragments, hand forged nails, clay pipe bowl and stem sections, an 1850s trade token and several clay marbles. A clay pipe bowl and list of items received was also discovered in the roof structure.

A close up of etched lettering on sandstone blacks, image provided by: Simon Blight

Perhaps the most interesting discovery so far has been on the Commissariat building itself. During removal of built up soil, the foundation of a chimney was discovered. Etched letters and numerals were uncovered on the sandstone blocks on the external side wall which have been covered by a later addition lean-to shed. The main etched graffiti is the numeral 40, which appears multiple times along the external wall, along with initials and the year 1829. At this stage the meaning of the marks is unknown; convict marks or a regiment number, perhaps?



AACAI NSW/ACT chapter

Archaeobotany for consultant archaeologists! AACAI NSW are pleased to present two speakers and a discussion on archaeobotanical sampling methods, techniques and controls for interpreting and dating archaeological sites, reconstructing past environments and understanding past Aboriginal and European land uses. Key speakers include: Dr Andrew Fairbain (University of Queensland) and Dr Emilie Dotte-Sarout (Australian National University). Attendees are invited to bring your questions for discussion!

Details

Thursday 21 September
Door opens 5:30pm for a 6:00pm start
The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre at YHA the Rocks
Costs: AACAI Members and Students (must show student ID): Free
Non-Members: $10
Pay at the door

Please RSVP by 20 th September for catering purposes to dianacowie@gmail.com