The Uncovered Past Institute will be undertaking the first archaeological excavation in Victoria of a Chinese mining settlement between 9th – 28th October 2017. For around thirty years from the late 1850s Harrietville was home to hundreds of Victoria’s Chinese gold miners. The largely undisturbed site includes mine workings, water races, building foundations, and gardens: a rare survivor of the heyday of Chinese gold mining in Victoria.
The project, happening over three weeks in October 2017, will be led by archaeologist Gordon Grimwade and run as a field school, and funded by public participation, along the lines of public field schools held overseas. It is an initiative of The Uncovered Past Institute, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2016 to run archaeology projects based on public participation. Students and members of the public are encouraged to participate in this excavation.
The project team includes archaeologists Gordon Grimwade, Melissa Dunk, Jennifer Chandler, Allison Carrol and Asa Ferrier; and historians Paul Macgregor, Diann Talbot and Andrew Swift.
Highlights of project participation include:
Intensive training, and participation in, fieldwork (site excavation, site surveying), and artefact processing (cleaning, recording, identifying and cataloguing).
A maximum of 4 participants for every supervising archaeologist in our team.
Guided history and heritage tours of the Upper Ovens Valley, focusing on mining history and the Chinese pioneers of the Valley.
Daily and evening workshops and lectures.
Working alongside some of the most experienced archaeologists and historians of Chinese heritage, and mining heritage, in Australia.
Learning how to identify Chinese artefacts such as ceramics, coins, bottles, foodstuffs and beverages, medicines and opium-smoking paraphernalia.
Being a part of archaeological discovery in one of the key areas of 19th century Chinese mining history in Australia.
For more information, please visit the project website:www.uncoveredpast.org.au/harrietville-chinese-mining-village/