Once upon a time, there was a little archaeologist who aspired to be the greatest of them all! That little archaeologist, who grew up to be me, thought he would be the first person in the world to discover the lost city of Atlantis. Fast-forward 16 years and I am currently undertaking my graduate diploma of archaeology at Flinders University. As a graduate student I have been able to undertake the important process of a directed study. I have been tasked with forming an interpretative brief for the Wellington Courthouse in Murray Bridge. Hardly the opportunity to discover Atlantis, but an exciting opportunity nonetheless and my very first taste of archaeology!
Built in 1864, the Wellington Courthouse has a long and important history in the area of Murray Bridge. My interpretive brief will consist of an historical summary of the site, from the days before it was built to today and from the people who worked, lived and played with the site. The site has recently been sold by the National Trust to a private owner. Currently, the owners (who will remain anonymous), are planning to re-establish the site as a tourist hotspot. Intentions for the site currently revolve around a restaurant, bed and breakfast and a museum of the site for the wider community. My directed study will give the necessary information required to interpret the site, making it excellent and profitable!
I look forward to the adventure ahead, the highs and the lows. More importantly I hope to prove to myself that I am an archaeologist and capable of more than just digging a hole.
The Wellington Courthouse
A couple of weeks ago I told everyone that I would continue on with my discussion about my directed study looking at Highbury’s Torrens Linear Park. I also mentioned that I would include information regarding the tour of the park that I had with my industry partner, Lea Crosby. So here goes.
I met Lea around 9am and we made our way to Highbury’s Torrens Linear Park, a park I had never been to, where we commenced our tour of the site and discussed significant features of the park. The very first feature and the location where we began our tour was this tree (pictured below) which is quantum to the local Kaurna people.
After noting this feature we then continued walking through the park looking at the flora and fauna on the way. We also, luckily, met Mick Medic, a horticulturalist, who explained the local fauna and flora to us, as well as giving us a tour of Boord House (below).
Taken at the site of the tree (on the right you can see the tree)
Lea and I then continued our tour by taking another path to view the rockshelters, where we discussed their significance to the local Indigenous population.
After inspecting the rockshelters we then strolled along another path back to the tree and went our separate ways.
The tour of Highbury’s Torrens Linear Park gave me an impression of the overall site and provided me with information regarding the local flora and fauna that could possibly have been used by the Indigenous population prior to European settlement.
By Nicole Monk
Who exactly is George Fife Angas? This is what I am looking at for my Directed Study this semester thanks to the National Trust of South Australia. I am going to be honest for a moment: when I initially chose this topic I had no idea who the man was or what he had accomplished, I didn’t even know that Angas Street in Adelaide was named after him. In hindsight, I am slightly ashamed that I don’t know more about my own state’s history, however, this is something I plan to rectify throughout this Directed Study. So now that my embarrassing short comings are done with let me explain exactly what I want to do in this study.
There has been a tonne of stuff written on this guy, although not as much as the other famous South Australian pioneers, and I hope to be able to collate all of this into the report. The sources vary from books about the founding of Adelaide to newspaper articles (which I found to be particularly interesting reading). With all of this information, then, it can be difficult to define exactly how you should go about explaining a person’s life and achievements. So, what I want to achieve would be to articulate both the public perception of the man and also the historical perception to see how they compare to each other. This will hopefully show a more unbiased view of the man and what he has done for South Australia.
Hey guys, for the next couple of weeks I’ll be writing blog posts about a research report for my University degree, but before I go into too much detail I better introduce myself for those who don’t known me. Hi, my name is Nicole Monk and I’m currently undertaking a Directed Studies topic in my Graduate Diploma of Archaeology at Flinders University (this topic gives students the chance to complete research to better prepare themselves for the workforce and to work with industry partners). After looking through a list of potential areas to study, provided by the department, I decided on researching Highbury’s Torrens Linear Park, a location that I had never been to or heard about.
A few days after confirming my choice I received an email providing me with contact details of my industry partner and a template for my research, which would involve an archival study of Highbury’s Torrens Linear Park to determine the significance of the local area and the rockshelters located within the park.
After a few more days I eagerly drove the 40 minutes to meet my industry partner, Lea Crosby, at the Florey Reconciliation Task Force to find out what was expected from the research and to seek out any information that was held in the office. The information that I was given at the office was minimal, as many would know in the archaeological field, information regarding Indigenous people is often limited, and having too much information would have made the study pointless. At the conclusion of the meeting Lea and I organised to go on a tour of the Park so that I could have an understanding of the overall shape and scope of the study, which will be in my next post.
Following this meeting I was rushed out the door because it was a Friday, and let’s face it who doesn’t want to leave early on a Friday?
As a part of my directed study, for the past few weeks I have been visiting the museum storage down at Hindmarsh. There, I have been looking at individual pieces of metal that have been collected from the site of the Lady Alice Mine by Keryn Walshe and a few helpers. The site was sectioned into 4 areas labeled A, B, C and D. From each of these sections they collected large amounts of ceramic, glass and metal.
It was decided that if we wanted to make a connection with the mining side of the Lady Alice Mine then we had to look at the metal more closely and determine which pieces are linked to people’s home life and more importantly which pieces are linked to the mine.
Over the last few weeks I have looked at each section carefully and have tried to determine what these pieces of metal I had at my disposal were. Where there are easily identifiable pieces, there are always mind-boggling pieces right beside them. Below is one certain piece that has stopped me, Cameron Hartnell and John Hodges in our tracks. It is a large piece of intertwined metal that looks like a modern day bed spring.
There are a few pieces of wired metal that have been wound together to increase strength and stability. As I am not very familiar with metal and/or mining tools I am unsure whether this is some sort of industrial artefact. I guess that means a lot more research.
There is a significant amount of metal artefacts that I have been able to connect back to the mining industry. With more research into the site and a close look at each distinctive artefact I hope to make a few more connections to the lives of those who once worked and lived at the Lady Alice Mine.