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”
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”
Written by: Rob Shiels, Assistant Collection Manager, The Workshops Rail Museum In July 2016, Pompey, the black locomotive in the grounds at The Workshops Rail Museum will be moved to an undercover area at the Museum. Pompey has been a popular display item since the Museum opened in 2002 and has been climbed on by thousands of adults and children alike in the last 14 … Continue reading Pompey’s next chapter
Queensland Museum is the custodian of a significant and extensive archaeological collection. The collection is so large it is divided into categories to enable better management, access and the application of expert knowledge to the collections. All together, these various collections comprise of hundreds of thousands of artefacts and occupy many square meters of storage. The collections are divided as follows:Continue reading “Collecting the Deep Past: Queensland Museum’s archaeology collection.”
Written by Dave Parkhill, Assistant Collection Manager (Archaeology).
In 2015 the Queensland Museum commenced a rehousing of the Archaeological Collection, which includes almost 1000 pieces of antiquities. This grouping includes such diverse items as Roman lamps, Greek glassware and Egyptian funeral objects. This was seen as a perfect opportunity to research material that had been donated decades ago and to ensure the information we had in our database was as accurate as we could make it.
One task involved researching the donation history of objects gifted by Ken Jackson, who collected them whilst on active service with the 2/9th Infantry Battalion of the Australian Army, during the Second World War.
Queensland Museum Assistant Collection Manager David Parkhill writes about his personal journey, from being captivated by Museums as a young boy growing up in England to arriving in Australia to peruse a livelihood as a jackaroo to finally finding his calling… a journey he describes as “a long strange trip”. Continue reading “Meet the Curator – David Parkhill”
Written by: Dr Geraldine Mate, Senior Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum
As a Curator, I am often asked “What’s your favourite object?”. Now to me this is a difficult question to answer – it’s a bit like being asked “who’s your favourite child?”. There are so many great objects in the collection that it’s impossible to pick one.
Written by: Rob Sheils, Assistant Collection Manager, The Workshops Rail Museum
In May 2012 “I’ve Been Working on the Railway – Stories and experiences of Torres Strait Islanders, Aboriginal people and Australian South Sea Islanders” opened at The Workshops Rail Museum. We were lucky enough to later receive a grant from the Australian Government through the Australian Council for the Arts, its funding and advisory body, to travel the exhibition around Australia between 2013-2015.
Ever wondered what it’s like to dig up a dinosaur bone? Or how we store all the incredible fossils in our collection? Or how our palaeontologists conduct research into some of Queensland’s most famous fossil finds
The recent opening of Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb exhibition prompted delight on the faces of QM staff and the visiting public. In addition to supervising the opening of the exhibition, British Museum expert Dr John Taylor identified a very significant old treasure. The piece of papyrus laying quietly in the display of QM artefacts has now been identified as part of an important Book of the Dead belonging … Continue reading New Ways of Looking at Old Treasures