As an ASHA promotional exercise, both of membership and historical archaeology, it was suggested that your regional representatives might organise a regional event and some measure of financial support might be available for this. As there is no strong Historical Archaeology base in the ACT – there is no tertiary teaching of it here in what is also a comparatively small region – it was considered prudent to explore the possibility of a joint event of some sort with the Canberra Archaeological Society (CAS) if we could find a mutually relevant theme and type of event.
The Q&A panel, L to R, Dr Michael Pearson AO, Dr Duncan Wright(ANU), Professor June Ross (UNE), Dr Tim Maloney (ANU) and Dr Tristen Jones (ANU), Maritime Rock Art Symposium, NMA,14/4/18. Photograph R Morrison.
The end result was a half day, contact-themed, free, public symposium which was held at the National Museum of Australia (NMA) during the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival. This drew a crowd of about 50, including archaeology students, academics, consultants and the public, to hear five experts relate investigations of maritime contact rock art across Australia, starting with Dr Michael Pearson AO, setting the scene by describing approaches to the identification of ships/boats found in Australian rock art. Case studies then followed in papers presented and/or written by academics from ANU, UNE and UWA. This was rounded off with a Q&A panel of all speakers. It is expected that the speakers’ presentations will eventually be loaded on the CAS website.
The success of this event has encouraged CAS to suggest a joint event with ASHA be an annual activity.