It's Archaeology, but not as we know it...

 

Rather than unearthing artefacts from the ground, University of Sydney archaeology undergraduate student Jane Rooke is ‘excavating’ from boxes.

During her ten week student placement at Hyde Park Barracks Museums, Jane will help us rediscover some of the long forgotten treasures of the Hyde Park Barracks' unstratified archaeology material.

These 'surface' finds have been boxed up in a dusty shed for years, and were considered less important by archaeologists than those found underground. However, we can put them to good use in the museum.

Not afraid of getting her hands dirty, Jane is carefully re-bagging, labelling, selecting and interpreting curious artefacts such as clay tobacco pipes, transfer printed ceramics, animal bones and glass bottles – one example even has its paper label intact! These will be used to inspire young minds in the hands-on Archaeology Underfoot education program.

The larger Hyde Park Barracks archaeology collection of around 100,000 artefacts is one of the most important and unique assemblages of 19th century institutional life anywhere in the world. The artefacts were dug up in Australia’s first publicly funded archaeology program which ran from 1980 to 1981.

About the Author

Fiona seated in hammock in Hyde Park Barracks.
Dr Fiona Starr
Curator
The Mint and Hyde Park Barracks Museum
Fiona claims her love of Australian history, genealogy and world history is hereditary – passed on by her mother and grandmother.

Employment opportunity preview tile.

Employment

20/HC050 Heritage Project ManagerThursday 28 May 2020

Visitor experience at the Hyde Park Barracks

News

Sydney Living Museums to reopen from 1 JuneThursday 21 May 2020

Sydney Living Museums is delighted to announce we are reopening our museums and historic houses, with the safety and wellbeing of visitors and staff our main priority.

Door knocker on the front door of Meroogal

Foundation

Annual Appeal 2020Monday 4 May 2020

To help us continue our important work, we invite you to support Sydney Living Museums through the Annual Appeal 2020.

Eat Your History publication photography at Vaucluse House

 

Q&A: Jacqui NewlingWednesday 27 May 2020

Join Jacqui Newling, Assistant curator, colonial gastronomer, author of our Eat your history book and 'the cook' in the Cook & Curator blog as we ask her about some of her favourite recipes from across our museums and historic house collections.

Painting of man with silver hair and glasses, in white shirt with sleeves rolled up, looking directly at painter.

 

Dr Jack Mundey AO (1929-2020)Tuesday 12 May 2020

Jack Mundey, Chair of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW (Sydney Living Museums) from 1995-2001, has died aged 90. He was as committed to ‘the workers’ as he was to our historic sites, and is fondly remembered by all who knew him.