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ASHA NEWS

Written by ASHA Committee

In August 2017 ASHA conducted a survey of members regarding what type of workshop members would be interested in attending. In response to outcomes of the survey, ASHA is proposing to hold a series workshops aimed at enhancing your heritage skills in key areas identified by members.

The first workshop - Technical and Research Skills - is aimed at refining practitioners’ assessment skills when using documents, maps and plans, providing greater understanding the different statutory environments, and an opportunity to consider archaeological research designs and archaeological significance. The workshop will be held on Friday 20th April, 2018 at the Big Dig Centre in Sydney.

While the workshop is aimed at archaeologists, it will also be beneficial to heritage consultants who include the outcomes of archaeological assessments in their reports, people who manage general archaeological and heritage issues. Further details, including registration details, are available here: http://www.asha.org.au/events

Compiled by Blog Editor

A reminder that National Archaeology Week (20-26 May 2018) is fast approaching!

If you have an event you wish to advertise, or if you want to check out what's on, go to: http://www.archaeologyweek.com/ where you'll find a state-by-state events list. You can also find National Archaeology Week on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/archaeologyweek/

The state representatives are:
NSW – Helen Nicholson - nhelen@tpg.com.au
Qld – Paddy Waterson - paddy.waterson@gmail.com
SA – Antoinette Hennessy - antoinette.hennessy@flinders.edu.au
Tas – Samuel Dix – samuel.dix@griffithuni.edu.au
Vic – Caroline Spry – c.spry@latrobe.edu.au
WA – Wendy Reynen – wa@australianarchaeology.com

And if you are posting on social media, please remember to use the hashtag #2018NAW

Written by Richard Morrison

A joint half-day event with the Canberra Archaeological Society and ASHA will be held at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, on Saturday 14 April 2018 in ACT Region Heritage Week. Speakers will include Professor Sue O’Connor (ANU), Dr Mike Pearson AO, Professor June Ross (UNE), Dr Tristen Jones (ANU) and Dr Duncan Wright (ANU). There will be a Q&A panel of the speakers at the end of the talks. For more information please see: https://maritimecasasha.eventbrite.com.au

Written by The Dry Stone Wall Association of Australia

The Dry Stone Walls Association of Australia (DSWAA) are holding a weekend away at Bathurst, NSW that  ASHA members may be interested in:

Weekend away at Bathurst, NSW, May 11-13 2018
Planning is well underway for a fabulous weekend of heritage and discovery in and around Bathurst. We start with drinks at the magnificent Abercrombie House; built in the 1870s by the Stewarts - pioneers of Bathurst. On the Bridle Track you can imagine yourself as a drover on horseback heading up the narrow track to the village at Hill End, the beautiful Turon River below.

It's also a rare trades weekend at Bathurst where we could see violin making, photo restoration, shingle splitting, lace and whip making, and much more - and of course our own dry stone wallers; Wayne Fox and Emma Knowles will be in action.

If you stay for Monday you will see Cox's Road - the original track across the Blue Mountains - and the historic Mayfield Gardens - a lovely property and garden rich in dsw.

For more information, please see: http://dswaa.org.au/bathurst-heritage-weekend-11-13-may/

Written by Caiti D'Gluyas

The next ASHA reading group is being hosted by Casey and Lowe and will be held on 22nd March. This is a semi-regular (quarterly) opportunity to catch-up with other historical archaeologists and discuss themes of interest.

Topic: Historical Artefacts
Facilitator: Robyn Stocks, Senior Artefact Specialist, Casey and Lowe
Location: Casey and Lowe Offices, 51 Reuss Street, LEICHHARDT NSW 2040
Time: 6pm, Thursday 22nd March 2017

Primary Readings
Davies, P. 2005 ‘Writing Slates and Schooling in Victoria’, Australasian Historical Archaeology 23:63-69.
Gojak, D. & I. Stuart 1999 ‘The Potential for the Archaeological Study of Clay, Tobacco Pipes from Australian Sites’, Australasian Historical Archaeology 17:38-49.
Klippel, W.E. & G.F. Schroedl 1999 ‘African slave craftsmen and single-hole bone discs from Brimstone Hill, St Kitts, West Indies’, Post-Medieval Archaeology 33:22–232.

Secondary Readings
Varman, R.V.J. 1993 Bricks and Nails: Building Materials as Criteria for Dating in Sydney and Environs from 1788, A Documentary Survey and Assessment of Dating Potential, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Sydney. Available online at https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/1205

Contact secretary@asha.org.au if you are finding it difficult to find the readings.

The event is free and open to anyone who is interested, however, RSVPs are essential (to secretary@asha.org.au), so please get in touch if you would like to come!


Written by the SHAP 2018 committee

The Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioners’ (SHAP) Workshop, proudly organised by Extent Heritage, will be taking place once again this year during National Archaeology Week 2018. In this one-day workshop - to be held on Friday, 18 May 2018 at the Sydney Harbor YHA Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre - historical archaeologists, students and anyone interested in the discipline will come together to share ideas, recent projects, technology and developments for historical archaeology in NSW.

The theme of this year’s Workshop is: The Role of Archaeology in Heritage Conservation

Effective heritage conservation is crucial for the preservation, understanding and interpretation of the past. A number of recent developments across Australian major urban hubs and their surrounds resulted in the discovery of important and rare archaeological sites and artefacts that are able to provide a wealth of information. However, not all sites can be retained and not all of the artefacts can be displayed. This year’s SHAP is the opportunity for the industry practitioners to present the most recent archaeological discoveries and the ways they have been conserved. This gathering can also be an initiation for greater participation and presentation of Australian historical archaeology at the next ICOMOS GA and Scientific Symposium that will be hosted by Sydney in 2020.

This is a call for papers, presentations and demonstrations: if you have an exciting or relevant idea for a 15 to 20-minute presentation, please submit a 150 to 400 word abstract to Extent Heritage, as the submission information provided below. Creative session proposals are very welcome! There will also be a “Your Plug Spot” session, where you will be able to announce upcoming events, news, notices etc.

Tickets will be available in early April, so watch this space! Presenters, please remember that you must attend the conference if your paper or session is accepted. We look forward to hearing from you!

Important information for submissions:
Due date: Midnight on Monday, 2 April 2018
Submissions to: admin@extent.com.au
Please ensure submissions are relevant to the theme – we may ask you to make edits to your abstract to make it more relevant to Archaeology in Heritage Conservation

In your submission please include:
1. A subject line in your email: SHAP 2018
2. Presentation title
3. Abstract of 150 – 400 words
4. Presenter and co-authors’ names
5. Company affiliation
6. The form of your proposed session (e.g. paper presentation, workshop, demonstration, interactive session)

All abstracts are submitted for review only – not every abstract will be successfully placed into a session
Successful presenters must attend the workshop

Written by AHA Editors

A reminder that submissions to Australasian Historical Archaeology are due on 31 March.  We welcome original articles and short reports about historical archaeology in Australasia and the wider region. Please see the website for more information.

If you would like to contribute but need more time please contact us before the deadline to discuss options (email: editor@asha.org.au).

Regards,
Annie Clark, Penny Crook, James Flexner & Sarah Hayes
Editors
Australasian Historical Archaeology



Compiled by Alison Frappell and Blog Editor

Recent excavations in Paramatta have revealed the remains of the basement of the historic Wheatsheaf Hotel which was built in 1801, and opened only 12 years after Sydney was settled by Europeans. The excavation also uncovered remnants of a wheelwrights workshop and convict cabin, and a bakery, as well as associated artefacts. The site is being preserved, with the a new high rise development above it altering designs to allow for public access to the site. For more information, see the below links:

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/

https://www.archaeology.org/news/

https://www.9news.com.au/national/

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/



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