asha

ASHA NEWS



Felicity Buckingham and Zvonka Stanin

The bricks in the images above and below were recovered from the southern end of Lot 67 in the 2016 excavation of the old CUB complex, near the corner of Swanston and Queensberry streets, Melbourne. This excavation was undertaken by Alpha Archaeology for Scape. Chosen for their rarity (an unusual find in Australia, and perhaps outside of France), these bricks were part of feature 066, a chalky white hand-made brick construction that was initially interpreted as a fireplace within a cellar.


At least three of the feature’s surfaces were comprised of bricks made in Langeais, a town in central France - bearing the makers marks of “Desouches Hubert a Langeais” and “Alexis Lemesle a Langeais”. Initial online research suggests Hubert Desouches ran his business in the 1850s and was declared bankrupt in 1859 (http://en.patrimoine-de-france.com/indre-et-loire/langeais/briqueterie-9.php, accessed 1/08/2016). Alexis Lemesle also appeared to have brick works around the same time - 1853 to perhaps 1875 (http://www.actuacity.com/four-a-carreaux_m81946/, accessed 1/08/2015).


Excavation showed that the fireplace/feature 066 was most likely added after the construction of the original cellar - an awkward, retrofitted addition to the cellar flume, sitting on top of original foundations and built into the cellar wall. Unless reused/curated (e.g. as ballast), these dates suggest a possible 1850s construction date for the cellar (see below).


This area of Melbourne was first settled in the 1850s, with these earlier buildings demolished and replaced with brick terraces sometime before the mid 1880s. Although artifact analysis is ongoing, it is possible that feature 066, and the French bricks added to it after its initial construction, may represent the earliest, c. 1850s to c. 1870s of occupation of Lot 67.

Images provided by Alpha Archaeology, showing artefacts CUB2 04537, CUB2 04538, CUB2 04539 and CUB2 04632. CUB2 04537 and CUB2 04538 with multiple finger print marks. Site image: CUB Scape, Lot 67, view south east facing Swanston Street, showing showing feature 066 at far wall of cellar. Photo credit Zvonka Stanin

Felicity and Zvonka are currently analysing the artefacts from the latest CUB dig for Alpha Archaeology, and can be contacted at either [email protected] or [email protected]



Googong Township

Navin Officer Heritage Consultants (NOHC) archaeologists have begun work unearthing some of the Canberra region’s early European settlement - a lost nineteenth century schoolhouse in Googong. The dig is being run by Googong Township Pty Ltd in partnership with NOHC and is part of the extensive environmental and heritage survey works being undertaken at Googong. NOHC project Excavation Director and ANU archaeology graduate Dr Rebecca Parkes said the school was a missing piece of local history.

“The school operated into the 20th century but there are very few historical records for it and nobody could remember where it was, so it was lost. We’re hoping the project gives us a nice window into rural life in that period, as there has been very little archaeological evidence found from that period in this area before.”

People are invited to view the archaeological site. Spots are strictly limited and must be booked in advance.

All visitors must wear enclosed flat shoes and be able to comfortably walk along a gently undulating farm trail for approx 800m-1km from the meeting spot to the site (10 minute walk), where they will receive a talk and tour of the site of approximately 30 minutes before returning to their cars. The event is subject to weather. Children must be under the care of a responsible adult at all times.

What:  Archaeological site visit of Googong's first school c.1880's.

When: Saturday 24 June 2017. Session times are strictly 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm. A max of 20 people can be booked in each session. Sessions are one hour each.

Registrations: Bookings are strictly limited and may be made via email to [email protected]. Please be sure to include your preferred session time, your full name and mobile number, and the full names of individuals in your party. We will confirm your booking via email and include details of where to meet.



Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

A 19th century school house has been excavated as part of developments in Googong, NSW. The excavation involved consultant and ANU student archaeologists, and recieved visits from local school children. Artefacts including slate pencils were found among the foundations.

For more information, please see the following links:

http://www.theage.com.au/act-news/anu-archaeologists-unearth-19th-century-history-at-googong-20170605-gwkgqy.html

http://www.archaeology.org/news/5605-170605-australia-school-house



Compiled by Angela Middleton and Bronwyn Woff

Excavations undertaken as part of the new Auckland City Rail Link have uncovered some interesting artefacts from the rear of the Auckland Chief Post Office building. The excavations will continue as more of the City Rail Link is constructed. For more information, please see the following link:  http://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2017/06/interesting-historical-artefacts-dug-up-in-crl-excavations/




Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

The Hyde Parks Barracks website has recently been rediscovered, and has been suggested as a "blast from the past" for the blog. The website includes various images of excavations from the 1980's, which you can check out here:https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/stories/archaeology-action-hyde-park-barracks

An excerpt from the page states:

In 1979 a major restoration of Hyde Park Barracks was begun, and by September 1980 the Barracks became the subject of the first publicly-funded archaeological excavation in New South Wales. Test trenches were opened by archaeologist Wendy Thorp, and then for 14 weeks throughout 1981 the site was under excavation by a team of 11 archaeologists, a conservator, a photographer and 250 volunteers, led by archaeologist Patricia Burritt.

...

During these excavations archaeologists discovered over 120,000 artefacts around the site, including over 80,000 recovered from beneath the floors of the upper levels of the dormitory building, where objects had been trapped for up to 160 years. An estimated 80 per cent were left behind by women of the Female Immigration Depot, the Hyde Park Asylum for aged and destitute women and courts and government offices, and the remaining 20 per cent survived the installation of new ceilings in 1848, and date from the convict period.



Jessie Garland and Angel Trendafilov, Underground Overground Archaeology

Angel Trendafilov, of Underground Overground Archaeology, has been monitoring the bulk out of the new Convention Centre in Christchurch with the assistance of Kirsa Webb, Tristan Wadsworth, Teri Anderson, Hamish Williams and Peter Mitchell. The site, which was home to a variety of commercial, professional and residential activities in the 19th century, has yielded a large (and still growing) artefact assemblage, several brick lined and artesian wells (see below image), a large number of rubbish pits, and structural features.


Many of the artefacts date to the 1840s-1860s period, suggesting that at least some of the material found may be associated with the early decades of European settlement in Christchurch. The assemblage contains a wide range of artefact types, including several unusual clay smoking pipes, elaborately decorated glass vessels and uncommon ceramics.


Notable artefacts so far include: an early 19th century imitation Mason's jug; a Price and Co. Bear's Grease pot lid; and an imitation engraved Batavian ware dish (see above image).

     

We have also uncovered a French clay pipe with a moulded Native American figure on the bowl (see above image) and a floor tile made by Jackson and Bishop, one of the earliest large scale brick making companies in Christchurch (see below image).


We don't yet know whether the artefact assemblages relate to the residential, commercial or professional uses of the site, but it is worth mentioning that there was a fancy goods store and an auctioneers among the many occupants crammed on to these sections in the 1860s and 1870s.


 

For more information about the archaeology of Christchurch, check out the Underground Overground Archaeology blog "Christchurch Uncovered" at:  http://blog.underoverarch.co.nz/

Artefact images: Jessie Garland
Excavation images: Hamish Williams




Richard Brassey, Auckland Council

A World War II aircraft crash site at Whenuapai west of Auckland was investigated in April-May by a team lead by Simon Bickler in conjunction with Auckland Council. A USAAF B17E flying fortress (‘Texas Tornado’) which had been on a secret mission to New Zealand crashed and exploded shortly after take-off for Laverton on 9 June 1942, with eleven fatalities. The property on which the crash occurred is likely to be developed in the near future. The aim of the project was to undertake a controlled excavation of a large infilled 500 lb bomb crater at the site in a way that would allow recovery of any human remains, personal items, unexploded ordnance and definitive crash relics. The finds recovered from the crash site have yet to be fully examined, but a number of items recovered will be repatriated to the US Defence Department’s Missing in Action unit.

Photo: Bomb crater prior to excavation - Richard Brassey

GML Heritage

At the recent NSW National Trust Heritage awards, GML Heritage won the award for Interpretation for their Hill End Historic Site project.

Hill End Historic Site is a former gold mining town in the central west of New South Wales. The National Parks and Wildlife Service commissioned GML, with Trigger and Simon MacArthur Associates to prepare an interpretation plan to increase visitor ‘access’ to the stories, sensory qualities and character of the site.

The interpretation plan focused on revitalisation and reimagining the presentation of Hill End. It not only defined themes and heritage values, but also addressed the wider business revitalisation of the site in a holistic way, identifying revenue generation, combined with visitor and marketing opportunities to assist conservation of the place and its collections.

Innovative tourism opportunities were identified with the aim of strengthening and diversifying the visitor experience, increasing sustainability and supporting local businesses and new social entrepreneurs. The project team generated a range of engaging options and interpretive programs to address the different needs and interests of visitors. A key aim was to create an authentic visitor experience that fostered creative enterprise to engage with artisans, crafts people and other businesses that aligned with the character and identity of Hill End.

Clarifying the site’s carrying capacity and identifying ways to improve on-site visitor management, GML also market-tested interpretive initiatives and prepared costings to ensure value for money, reduce risk and maximise successful implementation.

For more information, please see the following links:
https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/education-and-interpretation-alchemy-hill-end/
http://www.gml.com.au/gml-wins-at-2017-nsw-national-trust-heritage-awards/

Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

Excavations continue at various sites across Parramatta, as part of UrbanGrowth NSW’s Parramatta North Urban Transformation Program. The program aims to conserve and better understand the area's heritage and will continue late into 2017. Sites include Aboriginal settlement areas, the Parramatta Female Factory and the Roman Catholic Orphan School. Excavations have so far uncovered knapping sites, children's toys, clerical items and a clay tobacco pipe dated from between 1847-1870.

For more information, please see the following article at:

http://www.urbangrowth.nsw.gov.au/newsroom/archaeological-digs-uncover-fascinating-finds-at-parramatta-north/             



 






Catherine Tucker

This cutlery fork that was recovered from excavations of a large rubbish pit at Pentridge Prison, located to the north of Melbourne. The assemblage is thought to date to the mid-nineteenth century and this particular artefact was chosen as a representative example of the many cutlery items recovered during the excavations. It is a utilitarian object that has been modified for use specifically at the prison and was probably used by the inmates.

The metal is now heavily corroded but it has a shaft that extends all the way to the end of the handle. Over the metal handle there are two identically shaped bone lengths that are attached to each side of the fork shaft by three small evenly spaced nails. The bone handle is 14mm wide at the fork end and 20mm at the handle end and is 84mm in length. These dimensions are the same for all of the forks in the assemblage indicating that the cutlery was most likely mass produced in specialist factories rather than made in one of the prison workshops.

On one side of the fork there are roughly carved roman numerals – XXV (25) and numbers such as these were found on all bone handled cutlery in the assemblage. The highest number recovered was LVIII (58), meaning that there were at least 58 objects in the original set. The numerals are deeply incised on the handles and the roughness and variability in style indicate that these marks were probably made at the prison.

These numbered utensils are particularly identifiable as prison or institutional artefacts, places where it was important to keep track of sharp objects, and they reflect the processes involved in managing inmates in nineteenth century prisons.

Catherine Tucker is a part-time PHD student at LaTrobe University who also works as a consultant archaeologist, mostly in Victoria.