Diary of the ECDI Field school Mornington Peninsula 6-19 Feb 2022

“It’s been a long road getting to today with planning and CoVID postponements but the first ANU Archaeology Field school for a couple of years is underway with an amazing group of students, on the Mornington Peninsula.”

Ben Shaw

The field school took students to the Mornington Peninsula for two weeks, working across two field sites. One site was a triangular block of land significant to local Indigenous people; the second is at a more contemporary setting — Cape Schanck lighthouse, where students tracked down records of people who lived and worked there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Sunday, Day 1
Here they are about to board their bus to head out. Field school led by ECDI researchers Ben Shaw and Catherine Frieman.

Mon-Tues, Days 2-3
Two sites running with excavations well underway on a historic lighthouse reserve and a sand dune campsite. Lots going on, and the weather is playing nice!

Wednesday, Day 4
Excavations at the lighthouse keepers cottage and stables, and on the sand dune. Exciting finds!! After, a career advice panel with partner Heritage Insights.

Thursday, Day 5
Excitement is in the air. Can you spot the excavations among the trees. In the evening, a discussion with First Peoples State Relations on heritage protection.

Friday, Day 6
The cobble floor of the 1860s stables are emerging, on the sand dune we have found the former swamp and working on understanding the layout of millennia old camp sites.

Saturday, Day 7
The teams finished up with some total station surveying, with the teams swapping sites on Monday to maximise their experience. The end of an exciting and very rewarding week all round.

Sun-Mon, Days 8 & 9
A well deserved day off with a trip to Point Nepean. Excavation and survey continues, including flotation of organic sands to identify landscape change.

Catherine Frieman and Ben Shaw

Tues-Wed, Days 10-11
Transect surveys, sediment coring, photogrammetry and excavation continues. The past landscapes at the sand dune are revealed, with 19th century structures at the lighthouse.

Thursday, Day 12
The most exciting finds were made on the dune site just before we packed up. Everyone was re-energised. What will tomorrow bring. Only 2 days of excavation left!

Fri-Sat, Days 13-14
Last days of digging, recording and backfilling! So proud of the huge effort the students have put in, with significant finds and results. Back to Canberra today.

This field school has been a partnership with Heritage Insight, Parks Victoria, Heritage Victoria and the Bunurong Land Council.

%d bloggers like this: