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:

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:

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:

Alex Rose, Lithodomos VR Marketing Director

Lithodomos VR presented at the recent SHAP workshop in Sydney. The technology they produce may be of interest for site interpretations.

Shortly after its seed funding round earlier this year, Lithodomos VR further cemented its reputation as the leading archaeology VR content production studio when it took to the road on an European tour of epic proportions in order to showcase samples of its work. Fellow archaeologists, museums directors, tour operators and university students were spellbound and delighted in: Spain, Italy, Malta, Israel, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Portugal. Those who experienced Lithodomos VR’s archaeologically accurate content were consistently astonished and delighted by what they saw. The excitement was most tangible when demonstrations took place at archaeological sites at precisely georeferenced locations. “I think it helps you engage more, especially when some of what’s left is just at the bottom of a pillar”, remarked a young British visitor to the Athenian agora.

Lithodomos VR is being secretive about its future projects. However, it has indicated that their mobile VR experience will soon be deployed at two major European locations. “We’re working on something that’s unlike anything we’ve ever done before,” stated a company spokesperson. “Tourism, archaeology, and education will never be the same again.”

For more information please see:

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:

Artefact images: Jessie Garland
Excavation images: Hamish Williams

Bronwyn Woff, ASHA Blog Editor

The presentation for the Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioner’s Workshop covered the change ASHA has recently enacted from having a quarterly newsletter to an online news blog and quarterly blog summary. This occurred between December and April 2017. The blog can be found at .

In the past, ASHA’s newsletter was sent out to members quarterly, the last edition of which was sent out to members in January 2017. The ASHA news blog was launched on the 1st of January 2017 and aims to share current news and information with members so that they are up to date with the goings on of historical archaeology in Australasia. The news blog includes articles on research and excavation, news about upcoming events and an artefact of the month article, the content of which is supplied by our members and discovered through the various avenues of the internet.

Why a blog?
According to the Pennsylvania State University, a blog is “a simple platform to share information to an audience on a timely basis around a single or multiple topics”.

    The positives include:
  • Information is released more regularly
  • More recent information (newsletters can quickly contain out-of-date material, especially with a long lag time between editions)
  • Easier to access on mobile devices
  • Provide smaller chunks of information - easier and quicker for readers to process
  • less time consuming to edit and manipulate than an e-newsletter and therefore more information can be distributed
  • More visitors to the site - search engines are more likely to suggest a regularly updated site
    The negatives we have encountered include:
  • Lack of understanding about using a blog
  • Currently, no automatic updates each time something is posted (we’re working on this)
  • For the editor, needing to learn a little about coding, and the blog posting system
    How to find the blog:
  • Go to
  • Go to the ASHA home page ( and on the menu at the top of the page, click on the “News” button
  • Go to the ASHA home page ( and scroll down to “Latest News”
  • On the mobile site, click on Menu on the top right, then from the menu, select “News”
  • Click any of the links when you receive a members only News Blog Summary email

The News Blog:
On the first news blog page the past 10 posts will load, and older posts can be viewed using the page number menu at the bottom of the page. Click “Read Post” to view the whole article that you are interested in. To the left of the page at the top, there is a link to each of the past 10 blog posts under “Recent Posts”. Below this there is a “Topics” menu, which can be used to filter the blog for one topic at a time, as listed. These include the region related to the post, the type of post (eg: upcoming events), and broad topics.

Quarterly Blog Summary:
As a members-only benefit, a summary of the blog posts from the previous quarter is sent out by email. So far, only one summary has been sent out, which was for early April, with the next ones set for early July, October and then January 2018. The blog summary email is in replacement of the newsletter, and outlines the titles of all the posts from the previous quarter. Members can then click the links for the posts that interest them and read the full articles on the blog.

The ASHA news blog has taken over a page which was previously reserved for news updates, which were posted every couple of months. This page previously had an average of approximately 175 views per month. Now that the blog is posting approximately every 2 to 3 days, we are receiving an increasing number of views per month. In April we hit a total of 908 views.

We would love to hear more about what you are all doing in the field, and in your research! So if you have some research or excavation news you would like to share, an interesting artefact you could write about, or an upcoming event that you would like to share with a wider audience please send a submission through to either your regional representative (found HERE) or to [email protected] . We also accept other historical archaeology related articles that don’t fit into these categories.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the ASHA News Blog.
EIANZ Committee

EIANZ's 2017 Annual Conference will be held on Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 October 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand with a welcome function on 29 October and field trips scheduled for 1 November. The theme for the 2017 conference is Tu Kaha: Stand Tall, Fronting up with wicked solutions.

Our environmental work is increasingly confronted by wicked problems: those that seem difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete data; complex and contradictory factors; and the risk of unforeseen consequences.

This conference will focus on wicked solutions/: those solutions that are innovative, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary; that take approaches that can be shared across disciplines; and use tools and techniques that apply in many different environments.

It is time to stand tall, stand together and front up with wicked solutions to ensure that we, as environmental professionals, are leading by example and doing our part to achieve excellence in environmental practice.

Call for papers

The call for papers is open. Submit an abstract by Friday 26 May 2017 at the following link:

ASHA and Interpretation Australia

Travelling Stories: connecting people and landscapes is the first joint conference of Interpretation Australia and the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology. It aims to bring together people to create a greater understanding for all of the environments in which we live. This will be a conference with a difference, a traveling conference from Launceston to Hobart via key natural and cultural heritage places through Tasmania! The conference will be held between October 10 - 14 2017. A draft program is outlined below:

Tuesday 10 October: Arrive in Launceston – Welcome evening event
Wednesday 11 October: Launceston sessions
Thursday 12 October: Travel day Launceston to Hobart via Midlands
Friday 13 October: Hobart sessions + conference dinner (end of conference)
Saturday 14 October: Optional Hobart site visits or trip to Port Arthur Region

For more information, please see the following links:
ASHA conference page
Interpretation Australia conference page

James Flexner

Earlier this year, a new editorial team was assembled to take over the editorship of Australasian Historical Archaeology beginning with the 2018 issue (the 2017 issue is being guest edited by Katherine Watson). The team consists of Annie Clarke and James Flexner from the University of Sydney, and Penny Crook and Sarah Hayes from La Trobe University.

We are very excited about the opportunity to work on and develop this journal, which has been so influential in the region and historical archaeology more generally. We plan to spend 2017 assessing the status of AHA in comparison with like local and international journals — many of which are migrating to large publishing houses— ‘benchmarking’ its content, format, production, delivery, promotion, indexation and reach (citations and ‘impact’), along with other endeavours such as Early Career Researcher (ECR) mentoring. This would provide an evidence-based approach to setting the long-term direction of AHA’s future production and promotion, to ensure it continues to serve the membership and goals of the Society. We plan to prepare a ‘benchmarking’ report to deliver to the Committee in early August, well in advance of the AGM. Of course, we look forward to input and discussion from ASHA membership as AHA continues to evolve as an important forum for publication in historical archaeology in our region and beyond.

Meet the new team:

Anne (Annie) Clarke has over 35 years of experience in archaeological, heritage and museological research. Her research interests include the archaeology of Arnhem Land, the archaeology of cross-cultural engagement and colonialism, rock art and historical mark-making practices, ethnographic collections and objects, community archaeology, narrative archaeology and critical heritage. She has co-edited eight volumes on archaeology, heritage and museum studies, as well as three special journal issues. Her two most recent edited volumes are That was Then, This is Now: Contemporary Archaeology and Material Cultures in Australia (2016) with Ursula Frederick and Object Stories: artifacts and archaeologists with Steve Brown and Ursula Frederick. She is the joint author with Peter Hobbins and Ursula Frederick of Stories from the Sandstone: Quarantine Inscriptions from Australia’s Immigrant Past (2016).

Penny Crook has over 20 years’ experience in historical archaeology as a consultant and academic archaeologist. Her research interests include 19th-century material culture, assemblage analysis, consumer studies, urban archaeology and digital data management. She is currently completing a DECRA fellowship at La Trobe University although she continues to be based in Sydney. She has published several papers and monographs, including a co-authored monograph (with Peter Davies and Tim Murray) in Studies in Australasian Historical Archaeology. A long-standing member of ASHA, she has served in a number of roles including Editorial Assistant, Secretary and Vice President. She is currently Assistant Editor of Post-Medieval Archaeology and on the Editorial Advisory Board of Australian Archaeology.

James Flexner has published widely in international journals and scholarly books. His primary areas of research are historical archaeology, landscape archaeology, and the archaeology of Oceania (including the historical archaeology of Australia). He has also been a regular reviewer for refereed journals, including the International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, and Australasian Historical Archaeology. He has just completed editing a forthcoming volume of the journal Museum Worlds, and will be editing a forum for the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology. His first book, An Archaeology of Early Christianity in Vanuatu, was published by ANU Press in 2016.

Sarah Hayes is a DECRA fellow in Archaeology at La Trobe University. Her research focus is on urban archaeology, comparative artefact analysis, class construction and social mobility. She has published a number of papers along with a monograph in the Studies in Australasian Historical Archaeology series titled Good Taste, Fashion, Luxury: A genteel Melbourne family and their rubbish. Sarah has served for a number of years as book reviews editor for Australasian Historical Archaeology, newsletter editor for the Society for Historical Archaeology and as a reviewer for a number of journals. She has also worked as a tutor at La Trobe University, as an artefact specialist in consulting archaeology and in the management of moveable heritage in the museum and cultural heritage contexts.

Compiled by Bronwyn Woff

A possible nineteeth century military trench has been discovered during road work excavations at Tauranga, NZ. The trench and the musket balls found within it may be related to other known battle sites in the area, which date between the 1830s and 1860s.

For more information, please see: