Grotto Point (Sydney, Australia)

Given the current health crisis that is taking place around the world, in the past few months I haven't had the chance to explore archaeological sites around Sydney. With social distancing restrictions easing at the moment, together with the surprisingly mild June weather, the last few weekends have provided a nice opportunity to venture back out into nature. After almost two months of being primarily confined to home, Completing Sydney and I headed out to the Spit Bridge to Manly coastal walk, which starts in the northern beaches suburb of Clontarf. The 10km path hugs the coast and weaves through bushland, opening up into small beaches and covering areas of the northern section of the Sydney Harbour National Park where visitors are given panoramic views of the surrounding area and ocean.

In addition to these views, there are a few points of cultural heritage of the Cammeraygal people, the local inhabitants of this area, along the walk. The Cammeraygal people are the traditional c…

Digital Archaeology: for some fun while you're stuck inside

In this time of uncertainty, in the midst of a global health crisis, and with the critical need for social distancing, it is not possible to travel to archaeological sites around the world, or even within your own city as we are all urged to #staysafestayhome. I had some exciting travel planned to share with you that unfortunately could not go ahead and am among many thousands of people who have had to cancel travel plans.

Even though we find ourselves at home at the moment and into at least the short term future, archaeological exploration can still be done digitally from your couch, bed or garden. I touched on this briefly in my Accessibility in Archaeology article. Here are some websites that you can explore for a bit of entertainment and learning from the comfort of your own home.
Virtual Excavations There are a few virtual excavation games or activities that I came across online. The age range they are targetted towards does vary, but they cover some of the basic archaeological…

Accessibility in Archaeology

Archaeology as a discipline was originally the preserve of a very niche group of people - wealthy Europeans, most of whom were men. Archaeological finds were purchased at markets while travelling abroad, especially on the Grand Tour, a 17th/18th century trip around Europe and sometimes Egypt or the Middle East, that young men took to conclude their formal education. These artefacts were then stored within private residences where only the upper class owners and their associates had access to such materials. A clear example of this which you can see today is Sir John Soane's Museum in London which was the home of the wealthy Soane and is now a museum accessible to the public, housing over 40 000 antiquities including an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus! The drawing below shows how the breakfast room at Soane's house looked in the 1800s.

Accessibility in Archaeology as a Profession More and more women and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are pursuing a …

The Coal Loader Site (Sydney, Australia)

The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability is located in Waverton, a suburb in Sydney’s north shore. Hidden away on the edge of the leafy suburb’s residential area, this site uniquely blends reflection on and conservation of the location's past with an active forward looking approach to the future. Having returned to Sydney from my trip to India, I explored this site with fellow Sydney blogger and local celebrity Completing Sydney.

Upon first reaching the site at its northeast corner, a sign welcomes visitors to the Coal Loader site, leading down a short trail through a small patch of bushland to a boardwalk in front of a smoothed rock face. The sign includes details of native and introduced species found in this bushland, and leads to the first point of cultural significance. These native species were utilised for medicinal and food purposes by the local inhabitants of this region, the Cammeraygal people.

This rocky sandstone platform bears rock carvings by the locals, …

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