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ARCH8307 “Introductory Archaeological Geophysics” 2010



Thank you to all of my intrepid students who finish up their ARCH8307 “Introductory Archaeological Geophysics” topic this afternoon by presenting the data they have collected from the historic Meadows Wesleyan cemetery in the Adelaide Hills. The students, split in two groups entitled “The A Team” and “The Sextons”, collected, processed and interpreted ground penetrating radar, electromagnetic induction and magnetometer data to try to locate the foundations of the former church and some of the more than 50 unmarked burials know the exist within this cemetery. Students also were fortunate to be able to assist Flinders PhD candidate Martin Wimmer by searching for an air raid shelter in Souter Park, Goodwood. The investigations are still a bit inconclusive, but our preliminary interpretation is that a feature did exist on this site however any material used for it’s construction has now been removed.

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Life in Perth at the DIA.

Well folks this is my third blog and have only another thirty hours to go before I end my practicum at the Department of Indigenous Affairs. Recently I have been doing Program of Works, which I will be able to do for the next few days. This will involve using Arch Maps to see whether sites are in the mining tenements that are being submitted. Then drafting letters of advice to the mining proponents

The Department of Mines and Resources requires that there is DIA consent to excavate before they will deliver permission to a mining operator to operate in an area. This however can only be done after the Department of Environment delivers its approval.

I am interested in seeing how Arch Map works as it will be a tool I have yet to use. I have recently delivered my Section 18 appraisal that I worked on with Simon, I found this challenging but rewarding to see how much detail needs to be delivered to make sure Indigenous heritage has been given enough consideration across all stake holders, whether they are native title holders, males or females.

The DIA have asked me to deliver this assessment to the ACMC meeting to deliver ministerial recommendation on the site.

At the end of this practicum I will feel satisfied that I know what a Senior Heritage Officer should do and the varying conflicts of interests and time constraints that a career in the public service entertains.

Aboriginal Heritage Act Review

I am half way through my practicum at the Department of Indigenous Affairs in Western Australia. Presently the department is going through an Act review. This is looking at the act and then seeing whether it applies or is utilised? The lawyer consults with all the members and understands what happens in the department according to the act.

One of the interesting aspects is how Western Australia separates objects and sites in its legislation of protection. One of the problems with this is that it is becoming difficult to understand the role of the DIA in its protection of objects and whether it has the resources to protect thousands of objects.

However the most interesting aspect is how university has prepared me for this type of environment. Mark Staniforth’s Maritime Archaeology unit consistently compared other acts, the positives and negatives and the AHA review meeting looked at various other state government acts. It showed the realities of tutorials at university are not separate from the everyday life that government departments around the country experience day-to-day.

The AHA review runs twice a week with different branches of heritage all getting their say for two hours. It would be good to see with this level of consultation that the Department of Indigenous Affairs legislation becomes all the stronger into the future on the community’s trust in the department to protect the sites and objects of the various indigenous groups around Western Australia.

A day at the museum: ARCH8517 visit the South Australian Museum’s lithic stores

Dr Keryn Walshe explains a tool to Jon, Veronica, Matthew and Adi

On August 24th, the ARCH8517 class visited the South Australian Museum’s storage facility in Hindmarsh.  We looked at Gallus’ lithic collections from Koonalda Cave; and a box of material shipped by Norman Tindale from the US when he returned.  Dr Keryn Walshe explained different aspects of the collections, and showed the class a range of classic tool types.  Then, working in pairs, students looked at small collections donated to the museum by various people known and unknown.  Using both geological and typological reference collections, and the sparse and sometimes curious information that accompanied the artefacts, they had to identify the raw materials, technology and typology.

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DIA – Holding onto Indigenous sites of importance

The mining boom state of Western Australia has a small team of dedicated and hard-working staff who seek to preserve Western Australia’s rich cultural history. As part of my Graduate Diploma of Archaeology, I am doing an internship. Understanding the act, analysis of reports and the development of a Powerpoint presentation has been the majority of content that I have learnt for the first thirty hours.

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