asha

ASHA NEWS



Caiti D'Gluyas

One of the most significant finds from the 2002 Casselden Place, Melbourne, archaeological investigations (50 Lonsdale Street) was a medal struck to commemorate the Cessation of Convict Transportation (see images below, source: GML Heritage). The medal commemorates not only the victory of the anti-transportation movement but also the 50th anniversary of the founding of Tasmania on 10th August 1853.

The medal's design was approved by the Anti-Transportation League committee in 1853 before being fabricated in England. The medals finally arrived in Australia for distribution in 1855. The medal features James Wyon's portrait of Queen Victoria on one side, with the reverse showing the armorial bearings for Tasmania in a shield. James Wyon was a resident engraver at the Royal Mint and is best known for engraving the dies for sovereigns and half-sovereigns at the new Sydney branch of the Royal Mint. The shield is quartered by the Southern Cross and bears pastoral, commercial and agricultural emblems supported by the emu and kangaroo, surmounted by a rising sun motif.

The medal was cast in three different metals. One single medal was struck in gold for presentation to Queen Victoria, 100 were struck in bronze for committee members and 9000 were struck in white metal for general distribution. The medal recovered from Casselden Place appears to be a bronze issue. Many of the white metal medals went to Tasmanian school children. At the cessation celebrations, each child was given a piece of cake and a ticket enabling them to receive a medal, once they had arrived in the colony. On 3 August 1855, 9000 medals arrived in Launceston and 4000 were immediately dispatched to Hobart. Another 3000 were held in Launceston and 2000 were distributed to Green Ponds, Norfolk Plains, Ross, Evandale, Longford and other country districts.

The medal is now in the collection of Museum Victoria as part of a set of archaeological assemblages from the ‘Little Lon’ precinct. The most recent and concluding historical archaeological excavation at ‘Little Lon’ was undertaken between April and July 2017 for the 271 Spring Street development. An interpretation scheme for this excavation is currently being prepared by GML Heritage and will draw together the multiple phases of archaeological investigation that has occurred within the precinct. The medal provides an opportunity to interpret a fascinating story about ‘the hated stain’ of transportation.

References:
McNeice, R 1990, Tasmanian commemorative medals and medallions 1853–1900: A collector's handbook, Taroona.
Mint Issue September 2003, Royal Australia Mint.



Alison Frappell

In the following podcast, Holly Maclean (Heritage Consultant with Urbis) talks to ABC radio Brisbane about her work as part of Queen’s Wharf redevelopment, including her archaeological monitoring role alongside the construction teams, the genesis of Brisbane’s city streetscape, using diagnostic features to date bottles and the significance of Edison Street Tube artefacts discovered during the services diversions work: http://www.abc.net.au/radio/brisbane/programs/breakfast/queens-wharf-archaeology-holly-maclean/8895530

For more information, please see this update from January: https://urbis.com.au/insights-news/heritage-work-begins-at-queens-wharf-ahead-of-construction/



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.



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/



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



Felicity Buckingham

These thin, plastic discs were recovered from a yard context in Lot 61 during the 2016 excavation of the old CUB complex, near the corner of Swanston and Queensberry streets, Melbourne. The above image shows record CUB2 11317 (scale in cm).

Tentatively interpreted as being promotional material (possibly badge blanks, based on size and shape), they read “MISS AUSTRALIAN AIR LEAGUE 1950” and include the Air League emblem of a winged shield. Small oxidized holes are present on all examples and may indicate they were held together by a pin or similar.


Multiple ‘blanks’, including CUB2 11317 (bottom, centre)

Originally named the ‘Air Mindedness Development League’, the Australian Air League (hereafter the ‘League’) was established in 1934 to promote “an interest in aviation both as a career or as a hobby in the youth of Australia”, and “to provide opportunities to develop good citizenship, teamwork and to develop ingenuity and resourcefulness of members” (https://www.airleague.com.au/about/history).

In September 1950, the League sponsored Miss Patricia Sheales, a 20 year old hair salon receptionist (Age, 12 Sep 1950, p. 1), as a contestant in the Miss Victoria quest (Age, 11 Sep 1950, p. 5). These blanks embody the hope that Patricia would go through to the national competition. Patricia then made a number of public appearances, including the League’s annual parade (Age, 2 Oct 1950, p. 4), the Caulfield races (Age, 23 Oct 1950, p. 8), and a ball (Argus, 2 Dec 1950, p. 8), as well as appearing in several promotional pieces of editorial, such as the image below of several Miss Victoria entrants (Advocate, 16 Dec 1950, p. 3).


Pat Sheales (back row, centre) and other Miss Victoria contestants (Advocate, 16 Dec 1950, p. 3)

Unfortunately, Patricia didn’t win the Victorian competition. However, no Miss Australia was crowned at all in 1950 (Age, 24 Feb 1951, p. 3), due to a dispute regarding the chaperone assigned to the previous year’s winner for her international tour (West Australian, 15 Apr 1950, p. 10). Formerly Miss NSW, the NSW branch of the competition backed the decision, and withheld finances unless another chaperone was appointed - the result being the cancellation of said tour outright, and the discontinuation of the competition until 1953.

These blanks were chosen for the light they shed on the youth organisations and popular culture of mid twentieth-century Australia, as well as for the questions they ask about the site. How was the League, the Miss Australia competition, or Patricia Sheales related to Lot 61? If these blanks were promotional items, they were not needed after the Miss Victoria competition in December 1950, and their yard location could suggest they were simply thrown away, and may not have any further relation to the site. Analysis is ongoing, and will hopefully help to answer some of these questions.

Felicity Buckingham, along with Zvonka Stanin, is currently analysing artefacts from the latest CUB dig for Alpha Archaeology, and can be contacted at [email protected]



Paul Macgregor, The Uncovered Past Institute

The Uncovered Past Institute will be undertaking the first archaeological excavation in Victoria of a Chinese mining settlement between 9th - 28th October 2017. For around thirty years from the late 1850s Harrietville was home to hundreds of Victoria’s Chinese gold miners. The largely undisturbed site includes mine workings, water races, building foundations, and gardens: a rare survivor of the heyday of Chinese gold mining in Victoria.

The project, happening over three weeks in October 2017, will be led by archaeologist Gordon Grimwade and run as a field school, and funded by public participation, along the lines of public field schools held overseas. It is an initiative of The Uncovered Past Institute, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2016 to run archaeology projects based on public participation. Students and members of the public are encouraged to participate in this excavation.

The project team includes archaeologists Gordon Grimwade, Melissa Dunk, Jennifer Chandler, Allison Carrol and Asa Ferrier; and historians Paul Macgregor, Diann Talbot and Andrew Swift.

Highlights of project participation include:
Intensive training, and participation in, fieldwork (site excavation, site surveying), and artefact processing (cleaning, recording, identifying and cataloguing).
A maximum of 4 participants for every supervising archaeologist in our team.
Guided history and heritage tours of the Upper Ovens Valley, focusing on mining history and the Chinese pioneers of the Valley.
Daily and evening workshops and lectures.
Working alongside some of the most experienced archaeologists and historians of Chinese heritage, and mining heritage, in Australia.
Learning how to identify Chinese artefacts such as ceramics, coins, bottles, foodstuffs and beverages, medicines and opium-smoking paraphernalia.
Being a part of archaeological discovery in one of the key areas of 19th century Chinese mining history in Australia.

For more information, please visit the project website:www.uncoveredpast.org.au/harrietville-chinese-mining-village/



Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

A swathe of excavations will soon begin in Melbourne, ahead of multiple new train stations being built in the CBD. The stations will service a new tunnel which is being built below the city to ease congestion in the current city loop tunnel. Excavations are expected to uncover hundreds of thousands of artefacts, as well as evidence from the early stages of Melbourne's urban city.

For more information, please see the following news article:
www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/melbourne-metro-rail-project-archaeological-digs-expected-to-find-up-to-one-million-artefacts/



Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

Excavations have now concluded at the site of the Carlton Hotel, Geelong. The excavations were carried out ahead of the construction of a new building for the National Disability Insurance Agency in Geelong’s CBD. Early domestic building footings were discovered at the back of the hotel, as well as a barrel cesspit. Artefacts of note included crockery related to the previous Union Inn Hotel, various pipes and a complete bone domino.

For more information, please see the following link:

www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/geelong/from-beneath-old-carlton-hotel-site-hints-of-gold-rush-era-lifestyle/





Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

Excavation of the historic Bridge Inn Hotel is taking place at Mernda, north-east of Melbourne. Archaeologists have uncovered footings of the early hotel just under the top soil. Various artefacts have been found, as well as aboriginal artefacts. An open day is being held on Saturday, 8th of July between 10am-2pm.

For more information, please see the following links:

http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media-library/news/archaeological-dig-underway-in-mernda
        

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/north/bridge-inn-south-morang-archaeological-dig-makes-key-discoveries/news-story/48359c71371a03f5e024dab1cdf93f04


http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/north/archeologists-dig-deep-to-uncover-mysterious-history-of-bridge-inn-hotel-in-mernda/news-story/74b66d48466c478b4d196e40d3d622cd