National Archaeology Week

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated all things archaeology in National Archaeology Week (NAW).  I was lucky enough to be part of a couple of events in Sydney and thought I would share my experiences. 

My first event was on the first Sunday of the week. Not only was it NAW it was also 2022 Heritage Festival and what better way to combine the two celebrations than to gather archaeologists and curious members of the public in a library to talk about archaeology through artefacts. The joint ASHA, AACAI and Inner West Council workshops allowed members of the public to understand how archaeology is not just digging but many, many days of post excavation work in the office.  After an introduction from Helen Nicholson, the attendees spent around 10 minutes on each of the 5 tables.  The first table had a range of stone tools from Sydney University’s teaching collection, varying from ground stone tools to small worked lithics. Deb Lennis from the Inner West Council was there to talk about some of the Indigenous objects from the Council’s collection. We were also fortunate to have a lithics expert Bengi Selvi-Lamb on hand to discuss the lithics we had on the table.  Artefacts from a well in Balmain were used on the next 3 tables, books and digital resources were used to identify artefacts and to discuss the process of analysis. The table I was on focused on sorting artefacts into categories and I loved how, when given free rein, the non-archaeologists sorted the artefacts into very diverse categories. My favourite example is when a 7 year old collected all the children’s toys and laid them out in small jars or partial containers or saucers from the collection. The last table used the assemblages from Fenwick’s building in Balmain and the old Marrickville Hospital site (which is now Marrickville library) to encourage discussion on the different type of sites and what happens after the artefacts have been analysed. The feed back we received was all very positive and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a similar event next year!

Ready for the workshop to begin. Thank you to Helen Nicholson for the photo.

I was also a member of a team in the online quiz. Great fun, hard questions and a close comp
(ok I was in the losing team). Although it was a great night, fingers crossed next year we can
all get together in one room.

The last event I enjoyed was SHAP. This is always a highlight of NAW for me. So great to
see everyone in person this year. The day was full of interesting, thought-provoking talks.
The venue, The Refectory at the University of Sydney, although a little cold, was spectacular!
A big congratulations and thankyou to Comber Consultancies and the University of Sydney for a
great day.

Thanks to everyone who made NAW a great week. I know there were so many things
happening in the week. It would be great to hear about any other events around Australia. If
you feel like sharing, please send to [email protected]