Tag Archives: Fieldschools

The Mallala Museum: Brilliant AND Creepy!

An old cart from the Mallala Museum.. Also slightly creepy manikin

On a fair Wednesday night, after a long day in the field, many of the students (myself included) of the Flinders University Archaeology Team were winding down at the local pub. What a start to the night! A few beers and some chatter. But this is not what this story is about, it is what came next; a trip to the Mallala Museum to discover the exhibition that the local historical society had put on to display the past of their town. It was apparent the locals of the area had a proud passion for their history as was obvious with the large amounts of items on show from the past of such a small township. Upon walking through the front doors we immediately found something our team had not been able to find in the field; a complete artefact from the Seven Stars Hotel: a desk. This is one of the only known items from the Hotel. Moving further through the building, we come across a room stocked with items from the First and Second World Wars. This town showed its pride in this room, with pictures and original clothing from the wars all displayed elegantly. Next was the back room, which showcased various larger items such as old cars and fuel pumps. Finally, we discovered the upstairs room, which contained various knick-knacks, and a doll which looked like it came straight from a horror movie (pictured below).

The Creepy Doll in the Mallala Museum

This doll caused distress among some, while others joyed at trying to cause more distress by getting people to look at it. It was then that many chose to leave the museum and as it got quieter, it became spookier. Thus concluded our tour of this fine museum which turned out to be quite educational and everyone learned something they did not know about the small town of Mallala. Now, back to the pub!

(Photos courtesy of Sam Deer, one of the not so distressed people)

Tennis court tent society at Mallala

“How was the tent?” was one of the first questions my husband asked me during my time at the Flinders Uni Mallala Field Methods Field School (ARCH 8801).  The question arose because of the minor dilemma I had suffered when deciding whether or not to lug my tent to Malalla from Sydney. The Archaeology Department kindly offered one of the Uni tents to aid my plight and, despite my immediate vision of a 2 man pup tent over used by successive generations of Uni students, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I would be comfortably housed in a brand new 3 man dome tent.  Excellent!  Dilemma over.

Our ‘Tennis Court tent society’ at Mallala  was a delightful conglomerate of shapes and sizes, all forming a temporary society consisting of strangers sleeping next to one another, separated by the merest of thin nylon walls.  One of the largest tents, occupied by gentleman Matt, was a suitably impressive family size tent, allowing the luxury of a full standing position (see picture 1). Gentleman Matt appeared quite proud of his comparatively king-like structure as seen by his Napoléonesque poise for the photo.

de Palais Matto

Next door to ‘de Palais Matto’ and previously lived in by Jessica, stood the saddest member of the Tennis Court tent society. A pup tent of dubious nature which had been ‘borrowed’ (see picture 2). Not only was this tent the smallest tent on the block but it failed its prime directive; to stay up and provide shelter. The disappointment is obvious on Jessica’s face.

So sad......

Jessica was able to abandon the premises within a couple of nights of our arrival thanks to the preparedness of Rhiannon. Thankfully, as picture 3 shows, a newer, roomier abode at the other end of the street put a smile on Jessica’s face.

But now much happier!

The Tennis Court tent society was not without its famous residents. Temporary refuge was sought by visiting ABC Radio journalist, Ann. Embracing the spirit of BYO ideology, Ann’s imported lodgings brought lightness and colour, as did her very presence, to the tennis court society (with the possible exception of her fashion choices in pull overs)(see picture 4).

Anna from the ABCRegretfully, the assigned word limit of this blog prevents me from further espousing my thoughts on the  Tennis Court tent society, but special mention must be made of Bob’s true blue, real man swag (picture 5) and, of course, I must assure you that my lodgings, courtesy of Flinders, were extremely comfortable. However this doesn’t stop me from pondering an upgrade next time round. Where did you get your tent from Mick?

Bob, who was my most delightful next door neighbor
Mark obviously didn't want to be photographed with his tent

Di's, like de Palais Matto was also at the high end of the street and just as wonderful

Fashions in the Field

Strutting their stuff on the ‘Red Dust Carpet’ at Redbanks for the April 2012 Field Methods Field School were archaeology students, staff and helpers. Little did anyone realise that as a first time Arch student I was rating the dress sense of my more seasoned colleagues for ‘Fashions in the Field’ Awards. Unlike the red carpets of Paris and Milan, my points were awarded for being practical, safe, dustproof, sun-smart, bite- proof, as well as imaginative and stylish. Participants needed to follow the basic clothing requirements in the course handbook: long sleeve shirt, long pants, wide brim hat, sturdy shoes.

This season’s trends were Akubra style hats and check shirts worn with various shades of khaki; the new black! Those familiar with Munsell Soil Colour Charts know that khaki is dirt camouflage colour. Popular hair styles were short, no nonsense cuts and practical ponytails. But who dared to be different?

Bonnet of distinction – Heather, with her chic beige linen, and Rhiannon, with her embroidered little black Archaeology Society bucket hat, were strong contenders, but the winner was Jess looking a treat in floppy black hat accessorised with green peg!

Artistic Accessories – Bob, with his green anticancer gloves, Matt, with his burnt orange Egyptian scarf, and Viki, with mauve polished nail, were eye catching. Britt, with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, lost points when her precious metal interfered with readings on Julie’s and Rob’s matching WW1 era compasses.  But accessory princess was Amanda, who matched her blue & white bandanna with her nail decal on perfect acrylic nails.











Lovely Locks – Antoinette, with her short, glossy, stylish cut, and Mick, with his ‘no more tears no more tangles’ upstyle pony, looked the part and were practical, but they were outshone by Clare’s wash and wear dreadlocks resplendent with beads and threads!

The overall winner of Fashion in the Field 2012  was Sam, for her delightfully stylish and personalised outfits. The tie-dyed T-shirts, embroidered Nepalese pants, fly-netted hats and arm adornments prove that archaeologists can match function with fashion when in the field.

The 2011 Warriparinga archaeology field school

By Graduate Student Susan Arthure

The Warriparinga Archaeological Field Methods School took place from 11 to 21 April 2011. A group of twenty graduate students joined four Flinders University staff for a two week blitz of navigation, mapping and surveying.

Living Kaurna Cultural Centre

Living Kaurna Cultural Centre, Warriparinga

Warriparinga is located in a ‘triangle’ of land in the Marion Council area, just a short walk down the hill from Flinders University. The name comes from a Kaurna term meaning ‘windy place by the river’ and it is both a Kaurna ceremonial meeting place and a European early settlement site. For the Kaurna people, it plays a central role in the Tjirbruki Dreaming – Warriparinga was where Tjirbruki avenged the unlawful killing of his nephew. In the post-contact years, the Warriparinga area was the site of vineyards and orchards, a homestead (Fairford House) and wine cellars. Today, the new Living Kaurna Cultural Centre sits alongside the nineteenth century Fairford House, between the sculptural Tjirbruki Gateway and the original cottage style gardens, with the Sturt Creek running alongside.

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