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Archaeology staff voted in top ten at Flinders in nation-wide poll

It was no surprise to Flinders students to find that two staff members in the Department of Archaeology graduate programs were in the top ten at Flinders in the “Lecturer of the Year” awards. Dr Alice Gorman was ranked first at Flinders, with Associate Professor Heather Burke at eighth position across the entire university.

For the last four years, UniJobs in collaboration with Campus Daily have conducted the poll to find Australia’s best lecturers, as voted by students. This year was the biggest yet, with more than 72 000 votes cast.

“It’s so nice to feel that our students appreciate what we do” said Dr Gorman. “I would like to thank everyone who voted for us – it is a real honour”.

Both Dr Gorman and Dr Burke, as well as Professor Claire Smith, were in the top 50 in the 2007 Lecturer of the Year awards.

“I think this says a lot about the effectiveness of the Graduate Programs in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management – we must be doing something right!” Dr Gorman commented.

Anthropological Society of South Australia launches “Grave Concerns”

A crowd of enthusiasts gathered at the Royal Society Room at the South Australian Museum on Wednesday 15th December to enjoy a glass of champagne and hear Dr Kathryn Powell talk about her new book, Grave Concerns:  Locating and Unearthing Human Bodies (2010, Australian Academic Press).

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Book launch: Dr Kathryn Powell, “Grave concerns: locating and unearthing human burials”

The Anthropological Society of South Australia

is pleased to announce the launch of member Dr Kathryn Powell’s new book

Grave Concerns: Locating and Unearthing Human Bodies

at 6.30 pm, Wednesday 15th December, at the Royal Society Room, South Australian Museum.

More about the book:

Constructing graves is a uniquely human activity. When the grave is hidden it is most likely done so to conceal a murder or the wrongful disposal of a body. Finding these buried bodies is vital for both a successful legal prosecution as well as the emotional closure required for family and friends of the victim. This unique text provides a compact reference for those who find themselves called upon to search for missing persons who have met a tragic fate. Other readers will find a greater understanding of the science and culture that lies behind clandestine graves, so often a key component of both real life and fiction. Hidden bodies deserve to be found and this book outlines techniques that increase the likelihood of success with professional patience, persistence and a knowledge-based approach.

More about the author:
Dr Kathryn Powell obtained her PhD from the University of Adelaide in 2006 after pioneering work  at Australia’s first “body farm” designed to research detection of hidden graves in Australia’s unique dry and uncompacted soil. She currently works as a consultant forensic anthropologist on both hidden graves as well as the anthropology of Aboriginal sites of significance

Future work from my thesis?

My thesis was an attempt to locate the houses and haunts associated with prostitution in colonial Adelaide. I found numerous locations, but sadly only a small selection are still standing in the 21st century.
One of the most famous (or most infamous) places, that still stands is the Colonel Light Hotel (formerly named the Shamrock Hotel), this building was reported to share its town arce (131) with several cottages used by prostitutes, which were owend by the hotel’s proprietor. The hotel now shares the land with a small carpark.
I would love the opportunity to excavate this carpark, as it is one of the few locations that does now not hold a building.
Colonial Adelaide boasted several forms of prostitution, but my research found no references to the ‘classic brothel’ ideal, however when presenting my thesis one person in my audience mentioned one or two hotels that were purposed built to be brothels and would conform to the ‘classic brothel’ ideal.
It seems there is always more to learn. ^_^

Printing the Ngaut Ngaut Interpretive Brochure

Finally, the Ngaut Ngaut brochures have been printed. This was not an easy task. I had originally planned to get the brochures printed by a professional printing company. However, after making some phone calls, it became clear that using a printing company would be more work that originally expected. I was worried that the colours of the brochure would turn out different to how they looked when printed out on my home printer. Also, there was a worry that the specific folding specifications of a printing company would require the columns to be set in a very specific way. As the printing companies intended to charge for every adjustment made to the original file (once I submitted it to them), I was reluctant to go with a printing company at all.

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Directed Study: SANTS Artefact Collection – Background and Repatriation

A couple of weeks ago I presented on this topic at Alice’s presentation afternoon. I pretty much stuck to what my methods had been as opposed to my results. Anyway, this semester is finishing and this is my last blog post for this topic.

My report was written with a focus on previous archaeological, anthropological and environmental studies in relation to the ten different locations of the SANTs Collection. Unfortunately there seems to be a dearth of such prior work within South Australia related to these locations. This is the case particularly in terms of environmental studies and to a lesser extent anthropologically.

South Australia seems to have a progressive repatriation system in place where a small collection such as this SANT Collections can be researched for the purpose of repatriation. Such research can be long and complicated (especially for larger collections) but it is only the first step in the repatriation process.

With the information identified within this report, particularly that of the Indigenous communities identified and repatriation options identified, communication should definitively be initiated with the Antakirinja, Kokatha, Andyamathanha and Bunganditj peoples. It is more difficult for the artefacts sourced from the South Australian Desert and Coongie Lakes, but perhaps communication should be organised with the Coongie Lakes Visitor Centre and/or the Wadlata Outback Interpretative Centre for these locations.

South Australian Museum Archives Visit – Ngaut Ngaut Interpretive Project

In mid-September I visited the South Australian Museum Archives to locate images that were to be used on the interpretive signage at Ngaut Ngaut. This aspect of the project was also approved by the Mannum Aboriginal Community Association Inc. (MACAI). Dr Amy Roberts had given me some ideas as to what to look for and I had a list of index numbers that corresponded to relevant archive collections. Throughout the process of content creation Amy had found a few images that she wanted to use on the signs. The problem was that these copies had very low resolutions. My archives visit was aimed at finding the original images and organising high-quality 600 dpi copies of the photographs and field book sketches.

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