A lecture presented by Richard Tuffin and David Roe, entitled ‘But did they wash behind their ears?: preliminary findings from the 2016 Penitentiary Ablutions archaeological excavation at Port Arthur’ will be presented on Wednesday 15 March, at 4.00pm. The lecture will be held at the University of New England (Large Lecture Theatre EM1, Natural Resources Building (W55)) and will also be available via a recording on the Archaeology Society’s Echo 360 page (see link below).
During early 2016, a team of archaeologists undertook a programme of excavation within the ablutions area of the Penitentiary, Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmania. From 1856–1877, the area housed the amenities blocks, exercise yards, shelter sheds and Day Room and is a vital key to understanding how Port Arthur’s most iconic structure operated as a place of incarceration. The archaeological excavation, part of a suite of ongoing conservation, interpretation and research works, was by far the largest ever carried out at the site and one of the largest research investigations of the convict-period undertaken in Australia. A team of seven professional archaeologists spent over four months on site, their findings already beginning to challenge existing views of how convicts and the authorities interacted with the space and with each other.
‘This presentation will share the early results of the excavation, showcasing some of the more fascinating finds. The advanced recording methods used to conduct the investigation will also be discussed, including the generation of highly detailed 3D representations of the site using photogrammetric techniques.
Richard Tuffin served an initial term as an archaeologist at Port Arthur between 2001 and 2007. In an unintentional reversal of 19th century norms, Richard transported himself to Scotland, where he worked at the coal face of commercial archaeology. He gladly took up the offer of Penitentiary Project archaeologist in 2015. Dr David Roe is Archaeology Manager with the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority and has been involved with archaeological management and research in the UK, Portugal, Russia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Pitcairn Island and Australia. They are both part of the UNE/ UTAS/PAHMSA Australian Research Council ‘Landscapes of Punishment and Production’ project with Prof. Martin Gibbs and A. Prof David Roberts of UNE.
For people off-campus, the presentation will be recorded and made available through the Archaeology Society’s Echo 360 page HERE.