When it comes to growing the State Collection, objects find their path to the Queensland Museum Network in a variety of ways. Objects are often acquired, such as the purchasing of art works or other items of significance. Other times, we receive an object through a donation or cultural gift. But in some cases, an object is so old and so rare that we aren’t even sure exactly how we received it to begin with – perhaps even through chance.
Dr John Hooper has been an integral part of the Queensland Museum Network and has made a significant contribution during his 27 years here, 14 of which he has been Head of the Biodiversity and Geosciences program. Having retired in June 2018, John leaves a lasting legacy not only to the Queensland Museum Network but to the broader scientific community.
Written by Tate Devantier-Thomas, compiled by Dr Madeline Fowler
This is part of a blog series written by undergraduate students at James Cook University, who undertook research on objects in the Museum of Tropical Queensland’s maritime archaeology collection as part of the 2017 topic AR3008 Boats and Beaches. Continue reading A sperm sewing machine oil bottle from Aarhus
Written by Dr Stephen Beck, Honorary Officer (Volunteer) with the Cultures and History Program at Queensland Museum.
The wreck of the Foam provides amazing archaeological insights into the conduct of the Queensland labour trade, the process by which it operated and the effect of contact, trade and exchange between different cultures. The Foam has the unique status of being the only known wreck on the Great Barrier Reef of a Queensland labour vessel that was actively engaged in the labour trade at the time of its demise. Thus, the Foam, together with its wreck site, has provided archaeological insights into life on board a labour vessel, both for the returning Islanders and the European crew, at a specific time in the Queensland labour trade.
Continue reading The Wreck of the Foam and the Queensland Labour Trade
Written by Nick Hadnutt , Curator, Archaeology.
Many of the artefacts recovered from historical archaeology sites in Australia are essentially the same types of material. Any researcher investigating these sites will expect to handle a range of material including various metal fragments, spent munitions, lost buttons, broken slate pencil tips, fragments of tools, bits of bridles and horse gear, lost coins and tokens, pieces of fabric, discarded leather material and ceramics. Amongst the most common objects are those made of glass: either whole vessels or as fragments. In fact, so much glass material is recovered from sites, it could be easy to assume 19th century Australians lived on a diet of alcohol and salad dressing, simply from the kinds of bottles we find most often.
Continue reading 19th century Australia: grog and salad dressing?
Written by David Parkhill, Assistant Collection Manager, Archaeology.
The need to extend daylight hours, for either pleasure or the day to day business of living, or earning that living, has always been with us. Before the advent of electricity, allowing a room to be illuminated with the simple flick of a switch, light was generally achieved by the use of either a candle or a lamp. Candles, while being a far cheaper alternative to pottery oil lamps, did not provide the same amount of light, nor could the light be adjusted by trimming the wick, as was the case with lamps.
Written by Dave Parkhill
Assistant Collection Manager, Archaeology, Cultures and Histories Program
In 2015 the Queensland Museum commenced an expansion of the Secret Sacred Room at the South Bank campus. As part of this process, the majority of archaeological artefacts remaining at South Bank were relocated to the Queensland Museum Annexe at Hendra. The archaeological objects remaining at Southbank consisted mainly of the antiquities collection. From terracotta lamps to glass beakers; from mummified birds to spearheads, the antiquities collection is comprised of over 950 pieces, and includes artefacts from cultures as geographically and chronologically diverse as Egypt, Rome, Britain, Greece, and Cyprus.
Continue reading Classical antiquities find a modern home