Patent (identification) Pending…Gold Coast Wreck Recording Project

Flinders Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum
By Dana Gilmore

The recent Flinders Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum at Gold Coast presented my fellow students and me, along with an array of archaeological professionals, the opportunity to participate in many exciting works and discoveries in order to write scientific papers on different topics One research ‘discovery’ that was particularly exciting was locating several Muntz metal patent stamps. Muntz metal is a specific type of metal alloy—60% copper, 40% zinc—that was used to make sheathing for ship hulls in the 19th century. Muntz or other metal patent stamps were impressed on each sheet of sheathing, and may prove useful for dating the production of the sheathing. This is exciting, since such a date could potentially pinpoint the date of the corresponding shipwreck, which, in our specific case, would help us determine whether the remains thought to be from Coolangatta actually are part of that wreck, or if they come from another, most likely Heroine. Helping to solve this long-standing question was the primary objective of our practicum work, and would be a much welcomed outcome to the local community of Coolangatta.

Muntz 2014_07_15_K103

Fig. 1: Muntz metal patent stamp located on a fragment of sheathing on the Coolangatta memorial in Queen Elizabeth Park (Photo: Lauren Davison, 2014, enhanced with Photoshop).

The team located two circular Muntz metal patent stamps on two separate sheets of sheathing on a section of hull believed to be from the Coolangatta wreckage and now mounted as a monument in Queen Elizabeth Park. The two are different in size and preservation, as one (Fig. 1) is visible on the bottom corner of sheathing exposed to the elements, while the other (Fig. 2) is situated behind the modern commemorative bronze plaque and is highly corroded. We recorded each stamp with sketches and photographs, and performed some preliminary researched on their significance during the practicum.

Muntz K112

Fig. 2: Muntz metal patent stamp found under the commemorative plaque on the Coolangatta memorial in Queen Elizabeth Park (Photo: Lauren Davison, 2014, enhanced using Photoshop).

Three more Muntz metal patent stamps (Fig. 3) were found on sheathing on a monument believed to be from Coolangatta at another location. Unfortunately, these stamps are even more eroded than the two from the park memorial. Nonetheless, each stamp was properly recorded, as additional details might be gleaned from later study or by enhancing the photographs using Photoshop® software. The number of patent stamps we found on a relatively small sampling of sheathing was especially exciting, but, as all the patents are highly eroded, we were unable to make a definitive identification before the weeklong practicum came to an end.

Day 3 patents

Fig. 3: Muntz metal patent stamps found on sheathing (Photo: Lauren Davison 2014).

Recording the stamps for future examination is critical, but proved quite challenging. We cleaned the stamps with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water before sketching and photographing them. Multiple photographs of each stamp were taken at different angles and under different lighting in order to tease out as much detail as possible. We also used chalk to highlight the stamp details. This method worked well for enhanced photographic recording, but failed to reveal any additional details beyond what was visible. I had hoped to be able to overlay photographs of each patent stamp in order to match the stamps and fill in the eroded or otherwise obscured areas, thus ‘creating’ a complete stamp. Unfortunately, not only are all the stamps extremely worn, but they also are particularly damaged in the same area (lower right), thus thwarting these efforts.

Once back in camp, we used digital photo editing software to enhance our photographs and better highlight stamp details, but our efforts again met with limited success. We still were unable to decipher all of the numbers and lettering on the stamps, and may have to resort to specialised software designed to enhance micro reliefs of surfaces.

We also made rubbings of each stamp (Fig. 4), experimenting with paper of varying weight and pencils of different hardness in our attempt to capture as much detail as possible. Unfortunately, the rubbings were only able to capture the same level of detail as was visible to the naked eye.


Fig. 4: Dana Gilmore makes a rubbing of a Muntz metal patent stamp (Photo: Lauren Davison 2014).

Our preliminary research on the patent stamps revealed that the central number on the stamp indicates the sheathing plate thickness gauged by weight. In the case of one of the patent stamps we recorded, the sheathing therefore was 18 gauge, or 18 oz./ft2. Above and below the gauge number, in the outer ring of the stamp, are the words “MUNTZ’S PATENT”, and to either side is a number (typically the same number), the meaning of which is not yet known (Fig. 5). All of the patent stamps we found on the preserved sheathing are highly eroded and initially we were unable to make out all of the stamp numbers. We took one sample fragment of sheathing that is stamped in order to have it conserved so that hopefully we will be able to read the stamp numerals.

In addition to the stamps themselves, we also took metal samples of each piece of sheathing for detailed elemental and metallurgical analyses. The results of these tests undoubtedly will provide additional evidence with which to date and identify the ship remains. It will also be useful to examine the Muntz manufacturing records and identify, if possible, what stocks of Muntz sheathing were exported to New South Wales in the 19th century and potentially used in the constructions of Coolangatta and Heroine.

Muntz book

Fig. 5: Examples of Muntz and other metal patent stamps (from McCarthy 2005: 115 Fig. 73).

Although the discovery of Muntz metal patent stamps during the practicum fieldwork initially proved inconclusive, the recording, sampling, and field research of the hull sheathing and patent stamps provided me an excellent opportunity to learn different archaeological recording techniques, such as rubbing, sketching and photography. They also impressed on me the difficulties of dealing with poorly preserved artefacts and the need to apply multiple recording techniques in order to maximise the amount and quality of data collected. The discovery of the Muntz metal patent stamps and subsequent field research was exciting and educational, demonstrating the value of careful examination and recording, as well as the need to do preliminary research while still in the field. Overall, I found the practicum experience—especially the work on the patent stamps—rewarding because it exposed me to the real challenges of conducting archaeological work in the field, recording and analysing archaeological material re-used in contemporary art and monuments, and studying artefacts that have not been properly conserved or are exposed continuously to the elements. My week in Gold Coast certainly sparked an interest in me to learn more about the conservation of artefacts and, in particular, ways to halt or reverse the environmental degradation of artefacts that are displayed outdoors.

McCarthy, M. 2005. Ships’ Fastenings: From Sewn Boat to Steamship. Ed Rachal Foundation Nautical Archaeology Series. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.

Engaging the Community in Archaeological Investigations – the importance of understanding the effect of archaeological research on the public.

Gold Coast Wreck Conservation Project – Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum
By Peta Fray,  post-graduate student University of Leicester

When one thinks of the Gold Coast, certain iconic names come to mind: Surfers Paradise, Miami Beach and, of course, Coolangatta. What is less well known is that Coolangatta is named after a schooner that wrecked on Kirra beach in 1846. It is not surprising, then, that when a 1973 cyclone exposed a wreck on the beach, it was presumed to be the remains of Coolangatta.

This was not the first sighting of the wreck. People previously had reported and, in some cases, even photographed exposed ship remains on the beach in the 1930s and 1950s.

Photograph of wreck on Kirra beach 1974

Photograph of wreck on Kirra beach 1974

Unfortunately, once the wreck was deemed a public hazard, it was packed with explosives and blown apart. A portion of a wreck believed to be some of the blasted remains floated ashore in 1974. The remnants were poached for souvenirs, but the majority were removed by the Gold Coast City Council and taken to Tugan depot, where they remain to this day.

A section of planking and frames, purportedly from the wreck, was set up as a monument in Queen Elizabeth Park commemorating the city’s namesake shipwreck. Other fragments were used to make a stylised ship sculpture at the Bundall Museum, and an anchor reportedly from Coolangatta is set up on a memorial sandstone obelisk near the beach. Sundry other pieces were turned into plaques and commemorative items gifted by the city to various visiting dignitaries and important persons and now reside in diverse parts of the world.

Flinders students recording the Coolangatta Memorial

Flinders University student Lauren Davison and Leicester University student Peta Fray recording the Coolangatta Memorial

As the town’s namesake, Coolangatta has obvious local significance, but it also is an important shipwreck nationally as it is an early wreck and especially because it was an early Australian built vessel. But over the years there have been questions about whether the wreckage exposed in 1973 and washed onto the beach the following year was in fact from Coolangatta. Flinders Archaeology Department, in conjunction with Gold Coast City Council and Queensland Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP), undertook an investigation of the disarticulated remains to shed light on their identity, and a remote sensing survey of the Kirra Beach to determine the location of any hull remains or other items from the shipwreck that still may lie buried beneath the sand.

The significance of this project to local residents should not be underestimated. It is generally believed that the various monuments and ship parts exhibited around the town genuinely come from Coolangatta. If this should prove not the case, the community understandably will be disappointed and left with more questions than answers.

The onus on the archaeological team, therefore, was to ensure that our processes and investigations are methodical and thorough. Also, it is critical to engage the public in what we were doing, as the community takes great pride in the history of Coolangatta and the shipwreck memorials are well-known landmarks. Indeed, when we were working at the sites, a representative of the Council was always on hand to answer the numerous queries from the public and reassure them that no damage was being done to the objects. On a number of occasions, team members recording the hull section in the park were approached by passers-by and asked if the memorial was being dismantled, expressing their concern should that be the case.

To facilitate community engagement as well as to publicise the project, the press was contacted and informed of our work. The Gold Coast City Council representative monitoring the team’s work took the lead in engaging any reporters who came to the site and ensured that a consistent message was communicated.

Peta Fray and Dana Gilmore conducting a magnetometer survey on Kirra Beach.

Peta Fray and Dana Gilmore conducting a magnetometer survey on Kirra Beach.

The community engagement had some unexpected benefits for our research as well. On one particular day, a man walking through the park noticed the team recording the hull section monument and stopped to ask what was happening. During the conversation, he informed us that his father was an iconic photographer from the Gold Coast who had taken a number of photos of the exposed wreck back in the 1930s. He kindly showed the team some of the photos from his father’s collection that he had stored digitally on his mobile.

Exposed wreck believed to be the Coolangatta 1930’s

The most exciting development of the week came on the final day of the project when, following a front page story on our work in the Gold Coast Bulletin, the Council was contacted by a member of the public claiming to have seen the wreck in the 1950s. The newspaper story included a front-page photograph of the team surveying Kirra Beach with a magnetometer and a metal detector. The survey area lay on the south side of the creek and had been determined by DEHP based on the recorded location of the 1970s wreck exposure superimposed on a modern map of the area. The gentleman in question, now 84, was a young sand miner at the time and, while chasing a layer of rutile on the beach, to the north of the creek, ran his bulldozer into something so solid that it stopped his machine dead in its tracks; it was the remains of a ship’s hull. According to his recollection, the wreck was located much higher up in the dunes, close to the road, and some distance from our survey area. He described the remains as solid black timbers fastened together with large iron bolts and with no cladding (sheathing).

Knowing how tenuous eye witness accounts can be when dealing with coastal areas where beaches, creek courses and dunes can change rapidly, we still were eager to gather as much testimony from him as possible. His memory was quite detailed, and closely matched elements of a 1954 newspaper report stating that sand miners had uncovered part of a wreck. The gentleman accompanied the team to the park memorial and confirmed that what he had seen on the beach some six decades earlier was completely different than the hull section there on display. Upon initial examination, it would appear that what he had uncovered in the beach dunes all those years ago was a second wreck, buried much higher up from the water.

The question remains then: what are the ship parts on display around town, and does it matter if they are not from Coolangatta? The answer, in my opinion, is a resounding “yes”, and we owe it to the community to provide them with answers. If these are not pieces of Coolangatta, then to what vessel do they belong, and what happened to the remains of their namesake ship?

What is clear, however, is that whatever the outcome of our investigation, the pride of the community of Coolangatta and their affinity for the Coolangatta shipwreck will not be diminished. If anything, this inquiry may spark renewed interest in the ill-fated ship and new enthusiasm to search for its definitive whereabouts. All of us at Flinders Maritime Archaeology are proud to be in some small way part of this fascinating story, and hope to contribute something worthwhile to the local community and its heritage.

Mimburi Traditional Ecological Uses and Cultural Uses of Flora and Fauna Book

The Mimburi book is progressing nicely. This is part of my Directed Studies (ARCH8403) project, which is part of my Masters of Cultural Heritage Management (see previous blog ‘Flora and Fauna of Mimburi- the Bush tucker/ bush medicine/ cultural uses book’ for more information). Aunty Beverly Hand (Kabi Kabi Traditional Custodian and Mimburi Upper Mary Aboriginal Association President) and myself have been for many walks around the property, photographing species of flora and fauna that we have come across and having discussions about their uses. When we return to the Wongai Room (the office) I have been undertaking research on various resources in order to gather more information. Currently we are collating all our information. Photographs have been placed in their species folders and we have a working draft of the book. We are now sitting on 100 species. At one stage it seemed that the book was getting bigger than Ben Hur and we had to remind ourselves that the goal is to produce a book on some of the flora and fauna of Mimburi. We cannot include every species that is at Mimburi for now. The book is like a stage one, or volume one, which the community can add to in the future.

We have identified three key species that we do not have photographs of, that we think are really needed in the book, as they are rare and threatened species and the key species that saved the property from being turned into the Mary River Dam in 2009. It was the five umbrella species, including the Giant Barred Frog and the Mary River Turtle (and others), that allowed the Federal Government, under environmental legislation, to stop the State Government’s plan to build the Mary River Dam. These five species are all found at the Mimburi property and thus we thought they were important to include in the book. Aunty Beverly and I will utilise our networks in order to find the three photographs required.


Azure Kingfisher at Mimburi (Photograph Kate Greenwood)

I have already met with Marc Russell, Environmental Operations Officer for Sunshine Coast Regional Council, who kindly offered his own personal collection of plant photographs for use in the book as long as acknowledgement is made to him. We will go down this track with other people for the key species as well.

We did try putting out a fauna monitor in three different places around Mimburi, which was lent to us from Sunshine Coast Regional Council, as the property has Land for Wildlife status. We have only so far managed to get images of a few cows and the tail of a Scrub Turkey, but hopefully we will capture some other species when we find the right position for it.

Fauna monitor in place (Photo Kate Greenwood)

Fauna monitor in place (Photograph Kate Greenwood)

I have been busy reviewing Kabi Kabi language documents and, with the assistance of Aunty Beverly, have decided to utilise Zachariah Skyring’s 1870 recordings of Kabi Kabi language, as he lived close to Mimburi. His recordings were found via historical research and library visits. They are in no way a conclusive list and other Kabi Kabi language recordings and word lists will be utilised for species and items that we do not have names from Skyring.  These word lists will include the work of Watson (1944), Petrie (1904), Mathew (1887), Ridley (1887), Westaway (1887), Landsborough (1887) and others. Bianca Bond, Aunty Beverly’s daughter, has been undertaking Kabi Kabi language work for quite some time now and her expertise will be essential for the audio recording of language names in the online version and for the spelling in the hard copy version of the book.

Zachariah Skyring's handwritten notes (Photography Kate Greenwood)

Some of Zachariah Skyring’s handwritten notes

A lot of the historical information has also been collated and added to the draft of the book. Where possible, we are using historical accounts to describe species and/ or their use. For example:

‘With the natural history and appearance of one of these relicts of the ancient forest, the Moreton Bay fig-tree, which I then saw for the first time, I was remarkably struck. This tree bears a species of fig, which I was told (for it was not in season at the time) is by no means unpalatable, and of which it seems both the black natives and the bronze-winged pigeons of the Australian forest are equally fond’ (Lang 1861:81).

We have decided to do it this way as we would like the book not to be like the usual flora and fauna books, in that each species tells a story that is unique. and therefore each page is different from the others.

Moreton Bay Fig (Photography Kate Greenwood

Moreton Bay Fig (Photograph Kate Greenwood)

Discussions have been undertaken with Michael Aird, Director of Keeira Press, in regards to layout out the hard copy book. As we have no current funding, I am trying to learn graphic design layout for the book. We are still in discussions about what will work best and it seems that it will be similar to the historical information, i.e. that every page will be different, not just in text, but in visual design as well.

The next stage is to check with experts that we have photographed and identified the correct species and to continue with compiling the book.


Landsborough, W 1887 Portion of the Country Between Brisbane and Gympie, Curr, E. M 1887, 1886-1897 The Australian Race- its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Lang, J. D 1861 A Highly Eligible Field for Emigration and the Future Cotton-field of Great Britain: With a Disquisition on The Origin, Manners, and Customs of the Aborigines. London: Edward Stanford.

Mathew, J 1887 Mary River and Bunya Bunya Country. In Curr, E. M (ed.), The Australian Race – its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Petrie, C 1904 Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland, Watson, Ferguson & Co.: Brisbane.

Ridley, W 1887 North side of Moreton Bay. In Curr, E. M (ed.),  The Australian Race- its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Skyring, Z 1870 Gympie District Aboriginal Dialect. Unpublished notes.

Watson, F 1944 Vocabularies of four representative tribes of south eastern Queensland with grammatical notes thereof and some notes on manners and customs. Supplement to Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of Australiasia (Queensland) 34 Vol. XLVIII.

Westaway, R 1887 Portion of the country Between Brisbane and Gympie. In Curr, E. M (ed.), The Australian Race- its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Treacherous Tides at Danger Point: The Story of the Coolangatta Wreck and the Maritime Archaeological Fieldwork Practicum July 2014

The Coolangatta Wreck: is it CoolangattaHeroine, or something completely different. This was the project aim that students and practitioners faced at the Maritime Archaeology Practicum in July, on the golden beaches of the Gold Coast, Queensland. A small group of students, as well as industry partners and volunteers, led an investigation into the identification of the ship from partial remains which are in poor preservation, and scattered around the Gold Coast, From Coolangatta to Bundall.

Coolangatta wrecked on August 19, 1846, after a severe cyclone approached the area. Having been at anchor for 5 weeks, the anchors torn from the ship and was driven ashore. Having been loading the cedar wood from Greenmount Beach, via the Tweed River, Captain Steele and his crew were ashore rafting timber. The two prisoners onboard (George Craig and William George Lewis) were freed as the cyclone intensified and torn the ship and any other persons left on board risked the swim ashore.

The wreck remains have survived through unusual impacts, environmental and human. If they are the same remains from Coolangatta, they have survived three cyclones and remained intact with each deposition of the remains, having been recorded as moving north along the coastline from Point Danger to its last location, Coolangatta Creek (2 kilometres north from Queen Elizabeth Park). The area was named after the shipwreck in the field notes of 1883 government surveyor, Henry Schneider. At the time of its wrecking, another 5 fully laden ships were also bar-bound in the harbour, which adds to the mystery, is it Coolangatta?

The cyclone periods which led to the discovery/rediscovery of the wreck are:

1863 – 1864       First Discovery

1870 – 1880s     Rediscovery

1930                  Second Rediscovery (Coolgatta Creek)

During the 1970s, the remains were being used as a local dive site, being in shallow water, and a surfer rendezvous point. One diver that remembers using the site, John Strano, came to visit the group when conducting the magnetometer and metal detector survey, and indicated that it was further ashore than where we were already surveying. Strano later gave a statement to the reporter from the Gold Coast Bulletin, and is given a mention about later use of the wreck.

It was also during this era that the council at the time thought it would be the best idea to demolish the site, in an explosive manner. This was what the survey above had been designed over, a survey of the blow-up site. Remains of the shipwreck, having had the local surroundings named after Coolangatta, and what still is thought to be today, as a memorial event, pieces of the wreck was taken and handed out as souvenir, and the rest of the remains scattered. Memorials have been erected from remains, Such as Queen Elizabeth Park, Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Museum (Bundall), from the timber and frames of the wreck (mostly hull planking with Muntz(‘s) Metal sheeting still attached). Anchor memorials (such as the obelisk at Coolangatta Creek) were also constructed); one having been at the airport, however been expected to have been dismantled and the anchor relocated to the Gold Coast City Council (Tugun Works Depot).

Of the approximate 100 vessels wrecked in the vicinity of the Tweed River, 54 of these were timber constructed. Since there was no name attached to the remains, other than someone who wrote ‘Coolangatta’ in the sand while taking a photograph of the remains in 1930 (figure 1), there is no conclusive information about the identity of the remains. Two of the most likely candidates for the remains are Coolangatta and Heroine.

coolangatta 1930

Figure 1: Shipwreck remains on beach, ‘Coolangatta’ written in sand (1930)

From searching the dump point of shipwreck remains of the Gold Coast City Council (Works Depot), to a day in Queen Elizabeth Park, to cataloguing artefacts from Scottish Prince and recording yet more timbers and copper sheathing from what is thought to be remains of Coolangatta, the week had only just started. Although not everything was able to be accomplished, much of the work we had set out to achieve was completed.

Archival research, as with any other project, familiarised ourselves on the Coolangatta wreck, and the question as to why we are there in the first place. The information compiled into a report, based entirely as a review of many sources relating to Coolangatta and Heroine, David Nutley’s Report summarised what notable differences are between the two 19th Century vessels.

Coolangatta (1843 – 1846).

  • After 1846 wrecking event, repairs made to damage on port side bilge.
  • Refitted around 1846, would have included repair/replacement of Muntz Metal sheathing, replacement of rigging lines, sails, etc.
  • Square stern.
  • Strongly Built.
  • Timber likely to be from Shoalhaven Area (built).
  • Anchor types will pre date 1846 (i.e. Porter’s anchor).

Heroine (1894 – 1897).

  • Re-metalled in 1895.
  • Built with ‘northern timbers’ presumably from the north coast of New South Wales (built Nambucca River).
  • Anchor types will post date 1843: (i.e. Horniball or Trotman’s anchor).

Muntz Metal (post 1846 (second patent) – Muntz’s) on both vessels.

Muntz(‘s) Metal could date wreckage.

Sheathing could contain a year stamp.


After Comber 2014

The Gold Coast City Council (Tugun Works Depot), a place which we would later have to come back later in the and finish off, was our first site. As you can see in figure 1, the remains here were just carelessly dumped and forgotten about over time, even though their had been talk since the 1970s that care and proper management should given to these remains.


Figure 2: Timber in GCCC yards, overall site (photo courtesy of Lauren Davison)


The Queen Elizabeth Park memorial (figure 3) was a the site where work continued, even on the morning of my flight back, the day after the practicum finished. The drawings from the site were filled with detail, due to being the most intact piece located in the surrounds. Even in its poor state of preservation. different scale plans (including tracings), and rubbings were taken from the site.


Figure 3: Queen Elizabeth Park Coolangatta Memorial, Coolangatta (photo courtesy of Lauren Davison 2014)

The Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Heritage Museum was the last place of known wreck material, at least in public collections which were accessible to us. The monument that was constructed was befitting of the ship (figure 4). especially with only being constructed from mainly frame segments. To finish to off, a square of Muntz’s Metal was flying as a makeshift flag, complete with a stamp. When we were on site, the group also helped in a trial of the new shipwreck database, to be published online which helps in the collection of shipwreck remains locals might have in their homes.


Figure 4: Coolangatta Memorial, Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Heritage Museum (photo courtesy of Kate Greenwood 2014)

Coolangatta Creek and the anchor memorial (figure 5), the site of the magnetometer and metal detector survey was the final place the group visited. Our land search site and the scene of so many human impacts on the wreck. Having been hit my excavators and blown to pieces, it was the ideal place to start a search for any materials which might have been buried in the sands.


Figure 5: Anchor Memorial, Coolangatta Creek (photo courtesy of Paddy Waterson 2014)

Timber samples were collected from all pieces of the wreckage remains, as well as Muntz(‘s) Metal sheeting pieces, to be sent away for analysis and visual analysis respectively (figure 6). It will be interesting to find out the results of the analysis, which will hopefully be able to identify the ship once and for all. So I’ll end again with, is it CoolangattaHeroine, or something completely different.


Figure 6: Lauren Davison (background) and Brad Guadagnin (foreground) taking timer samples, Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta (Photo Courtesy of Toni Massey 2014)



Comber, Jillian

2014 Coolangatta Shipwrecks: Archival investigation of the Coolangatta and Heroine. Prepared by David Nutley. Report to Queensland Department of Environment & Heritage Protection

Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum Day Five

Gold Coast Wreck Conservation Project – Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum.

The last day of fieldwork and as usual full of excitement. We woke up to find ourselves on the front page of the Gold Coast Bulletin (Figure 1 and 2).


Figure 1: Front page of the Gold Coast Bulletin (Photo Lauren Davison).


Figure 2: Gold Coast Bulletin (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

The team then split into two again with a small group heading to the council depot at Tugun and the rest staying at the Tallebudgera Creek Caravan Park to process data, undertake research (Figure 3), and draw out the anchors that had been recorded (Figure 4).


Figure 3: Wendy and Isabelle researching the Heroine (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).


Figure 4: Mark and Dana drawing anchors (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

At the council yard the work involved scale drawings of frames (Figure 5) and an articulated section including ceiling planking, stringer, frames and fasteners (Figure 6) as well as taking timber samples (Figure 7).


 Figure 5: Lauren doing a scale drawing of a frame (Photo Amelia MacArthur Lacey 2014).


Figure 6: Brad and Trevor recording the articulated section (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).


Figure 7: Lauren taking timber samples (Photo Amelia MacArthur Lacey 2014).

The group that had stayed behind at the caravan park came for a visit to the council yards in the afternoon. With the extra hands we were able to turn to articulated section over and have a look on the exterior side. Planking, wale and a small section on sheathing were found on the exterior (Figure 8).


Figure 8: Paddy and Lauren cleaning the exterior surface of the articulated section (Photo Wendy van Duivenvoorde 2014).

To end I would like to thank a wonderful group of people that helped with this project. The Gold Coast City Council, Kevin Rains and Jane Austen; the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Paddy Waterson, Amelia MacArthur Lacey, and Toni Massey; the Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society, John Burns and Bob Nancarrow, local residents, John Strano, Fred Lang Junior, and John Hogg; Cosmos Archaeology, Cos Coroneos, Dani Wilkinson, and Gina Scheer, Trevor Winton, Mark Polzer, Wendy van Duivenvoorde, baby Isabelle, Brad Guadagnin, Peta Fray, Dana Gilmore and Kate Greenwood.

And finally a last thank you to all the local residents of the Gold Coast who were very helpful and friendly.

Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum 2014 Day Four

Gold Coast Wreck Conservation Project – Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum.

Today we visited the beach at Coolangatta Creek where the shipwreck was recovered in 1974 to undertake a magnetometer survey (Figure 1) and metal detector survey (Figure 2) of this area. Guests from Cosmos Archaeology, Cos Coroneos, Danielle Wilkinson, and Gina Scheer, came along for the day to help investigate the site.


Figure 1: Danielle, Cos, Dana and Kate undertaking the magnetometer survey (Photo Gina Scheer 2014).


Figure 2: Trevor, Amelia and Kate completing the metal detector survey in Coolangatta Creek (Photo Gina Scheer 2014).

 After setting up the grid from the magnetometer survey (Figure 3 and 4) the team split with a group returning to Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta to continue recording the shipwreck remains. Detailed drawings (Figure 5), timber recording forms (Figure 5) and timber samples (Figure 6) were taken.


Figure 3: Toni and Amelia setting up the grid at Coolangatta Creek (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).


Figure 4: Dana, Trevor and Danielle setting up grid at Coolangatta Creek (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).


Figure 5: Mark, Toni and Jane doing a detailed drawing and Brad completing a timber recording form (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).


Figure 6: Brad, Mark, Lauren and Jane taking timber samples (Photo Toni Massey 2014).

Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum 2014 Day Three

Gold Coast Wreck Conservation Project – Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum.

Today was the third day of work, or the middle of our field practicum and we recorded another section of shipwreck, this time at the Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society, Bundall. The shipwreck remains are part of a sculpture (Figure 1 & 2) constructed from what was thought to be Coolangatta. The work today would not have been possible without access to the remains provided by the Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society and help from president John Burns and volunteer Bob Nancarrow.


Figure 1: The team in front of sculpture at the Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society (Photo Kate Greenwood 2014).


Figure 2: Sculpture of shipwreck material (Photo Wendy van Duivenvoorde 2014).

Timber recording forms and photographs of the ten individual elements (both planking and frames) were used to record the remains (Figure 3) before samples were taken (Figure 4) and tracings and scale drawings (Figure 5) completed.


Figure 3: Lauren Davison recording a frame fragment (Photo Toni Massey 2014).


Figure 4: Wendy van Duienvoorde and Paddy Waterson taking timber samples (Photo Toni Massey 2014).


Figure 5: Brad Guadagnin and Trevor Winton undertaking a scale drawing of Frame 2 (Photo Wendy 2014).

Completed at the same time as the shipwreck recording, with the help of Ashley Parker, was the entering of the shipwrecks artefacts at the historical society into a database, the Queensland Historic Shipwreck Relics Project, designed by Ashley himself to complete a register of the shipwreck artefacts at Bundall.