The Australian Society for Historical Archaeology (ASHA) was founded in 1970 to promote the study of historical archaeology in Australia. In 1991 the Society was expanded to include New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region generally, and its name was changed to the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology.


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ASHA logo
ASHA logo

The 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology will be held on:
Friday, 30 September 2016 at 4:00 pm

in the Camelot Room, Chateau on the Park,
189 Deans Avenue,

Committee Nominations

Nominations for the 2016-2017 ASHA Committee are now open. The election of the 2016-17 ASHA Committee will be conducted during the Annual General Meeting. Nominations will close at 5.00pm (AEST) Friday 26 August 2016.

To nominate for a committee position, download a nomination form here and send it to the ASHA Returning Officer (address on the form). Further information on the committee roles is available here.

Each member is entitled to appoint another member as proxy by notice given to the Secretary not less than 24 hours before the time for holding of the meeting. You can download a proxy form here.

Return the form to the ASHA Secretary by mail on or before 5pm, Friday 23 September, or forms may be delivered in person to Caitlin D'Gluyas by your appointed Proxy at the conference no later than 12.30 pm, Friday 30 September 2016.


View of ‘Temperance Lodge’ (HCWA3729) from Company Road (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015).
Gray’s Store (HCWA1153) following restoration by National Trust and Palassis Architects in 1977 (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015)
Melissa Hetherington

Through the Eyes of Henry Gray: Investigating the influence of the Temperance Movement and Wesleyan Methodism on the Greenough Flats, Western Australia, 1839 – 1900

A new research project has just begun on the historic settlement on the Greenough Flats, which are situated approximately 400km north of Perth, and 25km south of Geraldton, Western Australia.

In Western Australia, a recommendation for the establishment of a temperance society in King George Sound (Albany) was put forward as early as 1833, on the basis that ‘temperance societies have been found to be highly beneficial by discouraging the use of ardent spirits’ (The Perth Gazette, 19th October 1833, p.167-8). Temperance advocates were aiming to combat numerous issues in the colony, such as increases in crime rates and illness, which were linked to drunkenness. Temperance advocates with religious motivations also tended to focus on making the connection between immorality and drunkenness. In this way, motivations behind the temperance movement were multi-layered.
This research aims to explore the nature of the temperance movement in Western Australia by examining social issues related to drunkenness and the motivations that lay behind the establishment of temperance and teetotaller societies in Western Australia. This research will also explore the ways in which the temperance movement influenced secular and religious organisations and commercial enterprise in the Western Australian colony by examining what motivated individuals to establish a lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars (I.O.G.T.) in Perth and the Midwest (Geraldton & Greenough), what motivated settlers to join the movement, and whether members of the I.O.G.T. achieved the outcomes they set out to achieve. Particular focus will be given to Charles Watson Gray, who established the I.O.G.T. in Western Australia, and Charles’ father, Henry Gray, who established a network of general stores (H. Gray & Co.) in Greenough & Geraldton, and whose personal and commercial interests were influenced by his support for and involvement with the I.O.G.T.

Beginning in November 2015, archaeological investigations will be conducted at Henry Gray’s general store and the Temperance Lodge, which are two National Trust properties located along Company Road, on the Greenough Flats. This research has been initiated through collaboration with the National Trust (NTWA), which manages 19 historic places on the Greenough Flats. The NTWA wish to gain a greater understanding of the heritage places in Western Australia that have come into their custodianship.

Gray’s Store (HCWA1153) following restoration by National Trust and Palassis Architects in 1977 (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015) Gray’s Store (HCWA1153) following restoration by National Trust and Palassis Architects in 1977 (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015).

View of ‘Temperance Lodge’ (HCWA3729) from Company Road (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015). View of ‘Temperance Lodge’ (HCWA3729) from Company Road (Photo: Hetherington, February 2015).

Facebook has also been used to connect and communicate with local residents, which has made it possible to connect with the wider community, including descendants of the settlers on the Greenough Flats. Descendants of Henry Gray and William Moore have already contributed photographs and documents from private collections, which have been of vital importance to understanding the history of Gray’s Store. Many of those who already take an interest in the history of the Greenough Flats settlement are familiar with the Pioneer Museum and Gardens in Greenough. Therefore, the project has been advertised through the museum’s Facebook page, to raise awareness about the upcoming fieldwork in Greenough, to spark further community interest and participation in this research.

Advertising the project on the Greenough Museum and Gardens Facebook page.
Advertising the project on the Greenough Museum and Gardens Facebook page.

If you are interested in volunteering for the excavations in 2016, or wish to gain experience in historical archaeology, send an email to Melissa at:

This blog first appeared in the ASHA Newsletter 2015, vol 45, no 3, pp 10-12.

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Excavating a colonial-era Melanesian village site, south Tanna Island. (Courtesy of J. Flexner)
Excavating a colonial-era Melanesian village site, south Tanna Island. (Courtesy of J. Flexner)
Penny Crook

Historical archaeologists have been awarded three Discovery projects in the recently announced round of ARC-funding. The projects reflect the diversity of historical-archaeological research in the Australasian region, ranging from the archaeological vestiges of the Queensland Native Mounted Police, to the mining landscapes of regional Victoria and the Christian missionaries of Vanuatu. Details of each project are below.

The investment of over $1.73 million over 4 years demonstrates the competitiveness of, and interest in, historical archaeological research on the national stage.

We congratulate the chief investigators, Associate Professor Heather Burke, Associate Professor Susan Lawrence and Dr James Flexner, and all their locall and international collaborators, and wish them every success in their research.


Associate Professor Heather Burke, Professor Bryce Barker, Professor Iain Davidson, Dr Lynley Wallis, Dr Noelene Cole, Ms Elizabeth Hatte and Dr Larry Zimmerman
The Flinders University of South Australia
$765,727, 4 years

This project plans to conduct a systematic archaeological study of the Queensland Native Mounted Police. While previous studies have focused on policing activities as revealed by the historical record, this project will combine material, oral and historical evidence from a range of sites across central and northern Queensland to understand more fully the activities, lives and legacies of the Native Police. This project aims to provide an alternative lens through which to understand the nature of frontier conflict, initiate new understandings of the Aboriginal and settler experience, and contribute to global studies of Indigenous responses to colonialism.

Associate Professor Susan Lawrence, Associate Professor Ian Rutherfurd, Dr Ewen Silvester, Dr Darren Baldwin, Professor Mark Macklin, Dr Peter Davies and Ms Jodi Turnbull
La Trobe University
$650,187, 4 years

By considering rivers as cultural artefacts, this project aims to evaluate how historical gold mining has shaped river systems in Victoria. Victoria’s historic mining industry led to extensive and long-lasting change to waterways across the state. The project plans to integrate approaches from landscape archaeology, physical geography, geomorphology and environmental chemistry to identify and map the extent of changes, including increased sedimentation, erosion, and chemical contamination. The project plans to demonstrate how historical mining continues to influence chemical and physical processes in Victorian streams and to develop understanding of the landscapes experienced by Victorians at the height of the mining boom. Project outcomes may provide improved context for catchment and reservoir management and counter prevailing impressions about causes of observed damage to rivers.

Dr James Flexner, Dr Stuart Bedford and Dr Frederique Valentin
The Australian National University

This project aims to conduct an archaeological survey of Vanuatu. One of archaeology's most significant contributions is providing models for the emergence of cultural diversity through time. Vanuatu is one of the most diverse regions on Earth. The southern islands were an important hub in early settlement and long-term inter-island interactions of Island Melanesia. Yet little is known about the origins of cultural contacts and diversity in the area. A major archaeological survey of the Polynesian outliers Futuna and Aniwa and neighbouring islands Tanna and Aneityum would greatly improve our knowledge of settlement patterns, long-distance exchange, and cross-cultural interaction in the region, from initial Lapita settlement 3000 years ago through to the arrival of Christian missionaries in the 1860s.

The project will include archaeological survey and excavation as well as a survey of 19th and early 20th century museum collections, particularly looking at examples of stone and shell exchange valuables from Futuna, Aniwa, Aneityum, Tanna. These objects may provide evidence about connections to neighbouring island groups, including New Caledonia, Fiji, and possibly Western Polynesia.

Adze Blades from Southern Vanuatu, Geddie/Robertson Collection, Nova Scotia Museum (Courtesy of J. Flexner)
Adze Blades from Southern Vanuatu, Geddie/Robertson Collection, Nova Scotia. Museum (Courtesy of J. Flexner)



ARC Selection Report (Discovery Projects)

ARC Funding Announcements (Discovery Projects)