By Marisa Giorgi, Information Officer, Queensland Museum There is nothing new about the use of adhesives and sealants. They have been a critical element in the technology of First Australians for thousands of years. Plant-based resin has been employed in the production of many traditional tools and when prepared correctly, resin can become as hard as rock. There is evidence of resin-use in toolmaking from … Continue reading Resin: an essential piece of kit
There is a lot of questionable information doing the rounds on social media. Many contributions are distorted or exaggerated, and some are just plain wrong, rest assured we have made every effort to verify what follows. There is an old Australian term which can be aptly applied to a false rumour or theory: it’s a ‘furphy’. The use of the word ‘furphy’ for misinformation can … Continue reading Bring back ‘furphy’, an old word for a modern problem
By Patrick Couper, Senior Curator Vertebrates, Queensland Museum The biological specimens in museum collections need constant monitoring to ensure their long-term preservation. Initially they are treated in a manner that prevents decay. For wet vertebrate collections (whole specimens stored in jars or vats of alcohol), an animal’s organs, muscles and other tissues are fixed, usually with formalin. This results in the formation of covalent bonds … Continue reading Mistakes can happen
By Damien Fegan, Information Officer, Queensland Museum Among the numerous objects and specimens on display at Queensland Museum are some with truly extraordinary stories! Today Damien Fegan from the Discovery Centre shares new research on one of his favourite objects on display at the Anzac Legacy Gallery. Mephisto, or more formally, A7V Sturmpanzerwagen (armoured assault vehicle) #506, the only surviving German tank from the First … Continue reading Panzers, parsley, soap and the devil!
Many of us think nothing of picking up a few things for dinner on the way home, or purchasing a trolley load of groceries at the supermarket on the weekend. Shopping in supermarkets is a part of everyday life in Australia, but it is a fairly recent phenomenon. Large suburban shopping centres only sprang up in the years since car ownership became commonplace in the 1950s. Continue reading In every suburban street
Written by Dr Maddy Fowler, Museum of Tropical Queensland
Following from Part 1 Shipwrecks, which detailed the 17 named shipwrecks represented by artefacts in the Museum of Tropical Queensland collection, Part 2 explores objects discovered at islands and reefs that are not ascribed to a known shipwreck. With the Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia’s greatest ship-traps, lying off the Queensland coast, it is unsurprising that shipwreck material occurs on many of the islands, reefs and cays both there and further offshore in the Coral Sea.
Continue reading “The Maritime Archaeology Collection: Part 2 Islands and Reefs”
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 Dr Maddy Fowler, Museum of Tropical Queensland
As the recently appointed Senior Curator Maritime Archaeology, I have faced the challenge of familiarising myself with the maritime archaeology collection, predominantly housed at the Museum of Tropical Queensland. The HMS Pandora artefacts are justifiably the most well-known of this collection, due to both their international value and significance, and their substantial quantity. The collection, however, also includes artefacts from at least 16 other named shipwrecks located across Queensland’s coast and rivers. The maritime archaeology collection can therefore be seen as a cross-section or a sample of the total shipwreck resource in the State, and a brief analysis of these sites can inform significance and research potential.
Continue reading “The Maritime Archaeology Collection: Part 1 Shipwrecks”
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 Dr Geraldine Mate, Principal Curator, Industry, History and Technology.
It’s a nerdy boast, I know, but I love maps! Colourful touristy maps, contour maps, historic maps with wheat, sugar and gold country blithely shaded out, hand-drawn maps with names of people as important as names of places, and even the busy cadastral maps – dimensioned and officially (officiously?) denoting gazetted reserves, roadways, property boundaries and survey points. They all somehow convey a little bit about the landscape they depict. So what do maps have to do with archaeology?
Continue reading “Meaning in Maps”
Queensland Museum Senior Curator, Mark Clayton writes about a toy car that was recently donated to the Museum and sheds some light on the accession process.
Continue reading “Ever wondered how an object becomes part of the Queensland Museum collection?”
Queensland Museum Collection Manager (Mammals and Birds), Heather Janetzki, talks about some of her favourite items within the Queensland DNA campaign that you have the opportunity to look after.
Continue reading “Collection manager shares her favourite items”
The Queensland Museum is calling on the public to become involved in preserving the stories within the State Collection. Through the Become a Part of Queensland’s DNA Campaign, people have the opportunity to link their name to an item from the Collection and in essence preserve that story. Queensland Museum, Senior Curator, Mark Clayton has written about his favourite item, an Airmail Bag. The notion of … Continue reading Anniversary of when QANTAS took flight
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.
Continue reading “Electricity Brings Prosperity”
Written by: Rob Shiels, Assistant Collection Manager, The Workshops Rail Museum
The Workshops Rail Museum was honoured to accept into our collection a recent donation of objects showcasing Staff Sergeant-Major Arthur G Bennett’s First World War experiences.
Continue reading “World War 1 objects added to Collection”
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
Continue reading “Bringing Queensland’s Lost Creatures to life”
Written by: Dr Barbara Baehr, Research Scientist, Terrestrial Environments (Arachnida)
Minute goblin spiders with orange armour are widely distributed but hidden! Goblin spiders have a worldwide distribution but are most common in the tropics and subtropics. Goblin spiders are mega diverse however most of the species are short range endemics living in habitats ranging from forests to deserts. The name Goblin spiders was chosen only a few years ago because of their grotesque body shape. Most of the Goblin spiders are orange colored with an armored body.
Continue reading “71 new Australian Goblin spider species named by QM researcher”
Written by: Susan Wright, Collection Manager (Insects)
Enter the depths of the insect collection and you never know what you will find.
Continue reading “What’s it like to be the Collection Manager (Insects)?”
Written by: Christine Robertson, Corporate Communications Officer
The fabled explorer Ludwig Leichhardt occupies a unique place in the Australian cultural imagination.
Continue reading “New species named after Ludwig Leichhardt”
Written by: Christine Robertson, Corporate Communication Officer
If you have ever been snorkelling or diving on the Great Barrier Reef, you would be astounded by the wondrous beauty of the intricate eco-system that happens under the sea.
Continue reading “How to collect a parasite: researching a covert eco-system”
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