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Heritage in the Pub features Port Arthur Penitentiary excavations


Heritage Tasmania and the Tasmanian Heritage Council are hosting a Heritage in the Pub discussion in Hobart to help celebrate National Archaeology Week in May. Last year’s event was highly successful, and enjoyed by those who came along.

We have three speakers who are going to discuss three different aspects of archaeological projects they’ve been involved with, including the social benefits of archaeology, the archaeological results of an excavation and the use of digital technology to reconstruct an archaeological site, at Oatlands, Point Puer and the Penitentiary at Port Arthur respectively.

Brad Williams, Manager-Heritage Projects with the Southern Midlands Council and Tasmanian Heritage Council member will discuss the archaeological excavations he has been involved with at Oatlands in the context of how it has provided learning opportunities for around 40 archaeology students, and the overall benefits to the Southern Midlands Heritage Program.

John Stephenson from Heritage Tasmania will present the findings of the Digital Reconstruction of the Point Puer Boys’ Prison on the Tasman Peninsula. This project was a partnership between Flinders University and the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA), in which computer based mapping and 3D modelling techniques were utilised to create a digital reconstruction of the Point Puer Boys’ Prison.  John will demonstrate how digital technologies can be used to illustrate how this archaeological site may have looked, and how this digital reconstruction can be used as an interpretive and management tool.

Ashley Matic from the Port Arthur Historic Site will present the initial results from a series of research excavations in the iconic penitentiary building at the Port Arthur Historic Site. The excavations sought to improve understanding of the building by providing information on its construction and use as a granary and flour mill, and its later conversion to a prison. The archaeological research conducted in March and April of this year has provided some unexpected but exciting results, defined a set of questions requiring further work, and provided useful data for the final design of the new structural stabilisation works planned for the penitentiary building.

These terrific talks will be held at the upstairs function room (external stairs) at The Duke, 192 Macquarie St, Hobart commencing 7.30pm on Thursday 23 May 2012. The bar will be open (drinks purchased at own cost) with nibbles provided. This is a free event but RSVPs are essential. Phone Heritage Tasmania on 1300 850 332 to secure your spot.