AASV6,2014: La Trobe Students Georgia Roberts and Wendy Morrison seasonal site use and early colonial farming
Thursday, 21 August 2014 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm (AEST)
San Francisco, California, USA
London, United Kingdom
Georgia Roberts – La Trobe University
Assessing season of site use in the archaeological record: a case study in the multidisciplinary approach.
Assessing seasonality within the archaeological record is notoriously difficult, particularly within Australia where seasonal variation is quite limited. One exception is southwestern Tasmania, which also contains remarkably well preserved assemblages of animal remains, ranging in age from 35,000 to 11,500 years. These archaeological collections are dominated by Bennett’s wallaby and the Tasmanian Common wombat, representing the two species most predated by Aboriginal people in this region at the end of the Pleistocene. This study investigates the season/s in which these sites were being used by identifying the seasonal isotopic curve (associated within rainfall) preserved within wombat dental enamel.
Investigations into hunter-gatherer subsistence strategies during Pleistocene climatic flux have led to the development of a model of highly mobile populations utilising resources on a seasonal basis. Georgia’s PhD research aims to investigate this trend through assessing patterns of seasonal resource exploitation of Vombatus ursinus tasmaniensis, the Tasmanian Common wombat, by Australian Aboriginal people in Tasmanian archaeological sites. Seasonality of wombat hunting is being investigated by undertaking high-resolution sequential stable isotope analysis on tooth enamel of Common wombats found throughout the archaeological sequences ranging in age from approximately 35,000 BP to 11,500 BP in order to identify season of death. Comparisons between season of death for Bennett’s wallaby, the major prey species, and Common wombats, will be undertaken, in order to assess the contribution of the Common wombat in the subsistence strategies evident at the sites.
Georgia Roberts is in the second year of her PhD at La Trobe University, based in the Molecular Archaeology Lab. Georgia undertook her undergraduate degrees at the Australian National University in Canberra (BSc – Palaeoenvironments and Marine Geoscience and BA [Hons] – Archaeology and Biological Anthropology), completing a Master of Archaeological Science in 2012.
WENDY mORRISON – LA TROBE UNIVERSITY
Making home: An archeology of erly colonial family farming at Gembrook, south-eastern Victoria
Silverwells is a family farm established in 1874 by one of the first selectors to settle in the Gembrook area of the Port Phillip-Westernport Bay region of south-eastern Victoria. For thirty years Silverwells was the nucleus of an embryonic settlement, providing a lifeline to scattered mining settlements and a venue for expressions of community celebration and cohesion. The original buildings and many of their contents remain on the property, and are the subject of my research. They represent a physical manifestation of an ancient process humans have been involved in for much of their history: emigration and inhabitation. They also offer a rare opportunity to investigate the initial formation of an early colonial community, created in relative isolation and through the efforts of the settlers themselves.
Emigration-immigration is an intensely emotional experience. For selectors it involved relinquishing land, family, friends and community with little or no chance of return. They then had to establish themselves in a different place that would nurture their family through successive generations. My research focuses on this process to consider a fundamental and primal question: how did a first generation settler family create home in a foreign landscape?
Wendy studied archaeology at La Trobe University, winning a number of university awards including the Deans Honours Award and the First Year Sociology Prize. In her third year she was awarded an International Network of Universities (INU) scholarship to study at Leicester University in the UK for three months, and on completion of her degree she was granted an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) to undertake a doctorate. Her research interests are strongly focused on Australian historical archaeology, and her doctoral research investigates the process of early colonial settlement and community creation at the family farm of an early settler at Gembrook, in South-eastern Victoria
When & Where
Archaeological & Anthropological Society of Victoria (AASV)
The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria was formed in 1976 through the amalgamation of two societies, the Anthropological Society of Victoria and the Archaeological Society of Victoria. Although one was formed 30 years before the other both owed their origin to inspiring lectures given by singularly gifted academic lecturers to what were largely non-academic audiences. Both lecturers were on the staff of the University of Melbourne but stimulated the enthusiasm of people outside the university community.
The AASV welcomes members from all walks of life: professional archaeologists and anthropologists, students, and interested laypeople. We hold monthly meetings with free lectures covering a wide range of topics from the broad disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, and we offer a range of activities including fieldtrips and the opportunity to participate on archaeological digs. While the Pacific region has a special place in the work of the Society, lectures cover a wide range of topics and regions across the world. Links with the University of Melbourne, LaTrobe University and Monash are strong with both staff and students regularly speaking to the society about their work.