Thursday, June 28, 2018

We'll dig here Time Team

The building of Melbourne's newest rail tunnel seems to proceeding at the planned furious snail's pace. Building were knocked down in our main street in the city, Swanston Street, both at the northern and southern ends. The southern end, and I should think the northern end too, has been turned into an archaeology dig. I am very doubtful any Roman coins or sandals will be found but who knows how far the Roman Empire stretched.

Actually, I was amazed to learn from Twitter today that an Australian cockatoo was given to an Arab Prince or someone like that in the 13th century, meaning that trade with Australian Aborigines, or contact at least, has been happening for a very long time. So much for Terra Nullius.

Back to the dig. A nice little window allows people to peer into where people are earnestly and carefully.....digging, coz that's what arkayolgists do. (I am ill educated and tired of checking spellings)



At the site is an information sign, informing readers that is was one of the earliest areas of European occupation. John Batman bought the the land that went on to become Melbourne. Batman built a seven room timber home on the site. By 1838 it had become Miss Cook's Seminary for Ladies, a boarding school, attended by Batman's own three daughters. In the 1850s more substantial brick and timber buildings were constructed and were occupied by various businesses over many years. As far as I know, there was nothing about the buildings demolished that was historic or even nice.


Mohamed supplies. Just reported the day after I wrote the post, several dice have been found. Some are made of ivory and some of animal bone. Gambling has always been a problem in Australia, and it seems it began very early. No Roman coins, as yet.

30 comments:

  1. Well at least they didn't waste their time. A few dice will make a very nice display in the museum.

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    1. Marie, yes, and I expect there is more to come.

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  2. The Casino is not that far from the dig! LOL

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    1. Lady J, site contamination.

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  3. I saw that cockatoo story too. And like you thought Terra Nullus? Not.
    I suspect that many European archaeologists sneer at the limited field our home grown varieties have to play in.

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    1. EC, yes, they probably do sneer, but it is important to us.

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  4. The pictures are quite interesting. Here in New England, we often get held up due to the location of Native American artifacts being located. Then they must carefully remove every arrow-head and hold up months/years of work.

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    1. Maribeth, I think that happens in almost every western country. When we were in Naples, an underground train tunnel had been delayed a long time after finding Roman ruins. I don't remember construction being delayed here by the finding of Aboriginal artifacts but perhaps there has been.

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  5. Mum reckons it'll be interesting to see which project gets finished first. Your rail tunnel or Sydney's George Street, light rail.

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    1. Charlie, close call, but I think Sydney's light rail will get there a little sooner.

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  6. Good grief, digging and goodness knows what they will find - maybe heaps, maybe nothing but it's all part of the heritage of Melbourne.

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    1. Margaret, there have been digs before in other parts of the city and they don't seem to find very much.

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  7. Anonymous1:45 pm

    Have you seen the archaeological dig at the Rocks in Sydney? It's very interesting. I read about the cockatoo drawing as well and thought it was wonderful! Bunyip.

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    1. Bunyip, no I haven't even heard about the Sydney dig. Who knows who visited Australia at some point.

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  8. Interesting to read about Melbourne !!

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    1. Gattina, glad you enjoyed a little information.

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  9. Dice, lol, that's funny Andrew.
    I'm always amazed that archaeologists have to dig so deep to find earlier civilizations, how come so many houses were built on top of each other?
    It seems both Melbourne and Sydney are under a big construction boom. Unfortunately not happening in WA.

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    1. Sami, I asked that question of an archaeologist once, especially about Roman times. He said the land just builds up and buries things. I guess similar happens with buildings. I would not say unfortunately not in Perth. Perth is fine how it is and there are things happening just a bit more slowly. Not boom and bust like here.

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  10. I say that we all should purchase metal detectors and have them ready for every situation Andrew.(lol) Hugs...RO

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    1. Terrific idea RO, and so convenient to carry around.

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    2. Do they make them pocket sized?

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  11. I am delighted to hear about the Seminary for Ladies, including Batman's own daughters. Education for girls normally seemed unimportant and of low quality.

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    1. Hels, while Batman was part of a certain level of society, I think it would be unusual for any female to receive formal education back then.

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  12. How fascinating Andrew, I always wanted to be an 'arkayologist', but think I may have left it a wee bit late.. now I'm actually a relic myself 😀

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    1. You are not quite there yet Grace. I didn't know you had an interest in archaeology.

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    2. Me too and my younger son, but the years of study necessary were out of our reach financially. Maybe in my next life.

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    3. River, I am feeling left out, with only a minor interest.

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  13. Some people love watching other people at work.

    Word has it...via Twitter...that the Romans built the Great Wall of China....

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    1. Lee, perhaps people watch in case of a 'big discovery'.

      I know that the Romans designed the Great Wall, and used Chinese labour to build it.

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  14. So the train lines are 'on hold' for about 50 years now?

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