Tag Archives: Indigenous Archaeology

Executive summary of my directed study project

I have just concluded my directed study project which was focused on researching a new methodology for the indirect detection of unmarked burial sites using ground penetrating radar. Being responsible for researching and writing up a larger sized project, and drawing on various sources for literature including interstate collections has been a valuable learning experience. However the most rewarding experience has been the opportunity to be involved in undertaking research with important implications for locating the burial location of a significant Indigenous historical figure.

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Archaeology of Australian Stone Tools practical test

No, it wasn’t an exam, it was an in-class test …… but still, graduate students in ARCH8517 The Archaeology of Australian Stone Artefacts had to have their lithic thinking caps on, to identify and record the key features of a set of previously unseen artefacts last week for the final class in this topic.  An unofficial part of the test was to compose a limerick on the subject of lithics (not marked of course).  Here are some highlights.

From left to right:  Teagan Miller, Adi Saunders, Clare von Maltzahn and Claire Keating

Honours theses 2010 – the big day!

John Hayward:  the crowning moment.

On Monday 25th October, Heidi Pitman and John Hayward had the usual run of printing problems, lack of sleep and stress to get their honours theses to the department on time.  John’s thesis was an analysis of the concept of the “toolkit” in Australian lithics, using collections in the South Australian Museum, while Heidi investigated the use of spinifex resin through ethnography and museum collections.  Congratulations to both of them!  Expect to see their abstracts in Australian Archaeology soon, and when examination is complete, the theses will be available on the Flinders University Department of Archaeology website.

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Ngaut Ngaut Interpretive Project: Consultation at Nildottie

by Alex van Wessem

For the second phase of my involvement as a practicum and directed studies student on the Ngaut Ngaut Interpretive Project I attended a consultation meeting with members of the Mannum Aboriginal Community Association Inc. (MACAI) together with the principal researcher and project coordinator, Dr Amy Roberts, and tourism advisor, Lyn Leader-Elliott.

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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.