Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Centre of the Cultural Heritage

This post marks a GPS location taken several years ago during an archaeological survey at Point Cook. the area is low lying basalt plain, farmed for 150 years and probably ploughed most years in that time. When we surveyed it, with Harry Terrick from the Wurundjeri I think, we found a single artefact near a drain and dam. The rest of the paddocks, (about 100 acres) were absolutely bare - a crop had been planted but had failed, and rain and wind had scoured the surface. As any archaeology could only have been on the surface or in bioturbation zone (i.e. the layer of soil effected by animals, insects and plants moving soil around), and ploughing, scarifying, seeding and such would have churned the top 25cm, but left at least 10% of artefacts in the soil on the surface, then if there was any substantial archaeology here, we would have found it.

A number of Aboriginal stone artefact scatters have been found a bit north on Skeleton Creek, and a bit south around some ephemeral swamps and water holes, so we know where people used to hang around, just not here. Anyway the developers surveyors marked the location with a nice large stake painted in pink and white and inscribed "Centre of Cultural Heritage". It seems a bit surreal give haw bare and bereft of cultural heritage the place is. Anyway, a permit was obtained from aboriginal Affairs, and Martin Lawler will be out their shortly to let the contractors know what to look for in case anything else is found.

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