Second dig prospect

Harrietville Chinese camp prompts more questions for archaeologists

DISCOVERY: Head archaeologist Gordon Grimwade (front) and local historian Andrew Swift inspect fragments of a plate uncovered during the Harrietville Dig. PHOTO Glen Thompson

THE Uncovered Past Institute will look at making a second archaeological dig in Harrietville.

The three-week ‘Harrietville Dig’ – the first to take place at a colonial-era Chinese mining settlement in Victoria – finished on Saturday but left many unanswered questions for archaeologists and historians.

“One of the fascinating things was that we found a fair bit of European ceramics and that usually suggests the Chinese adapted and started using European tableware, but we now believe that during the Depression period (1929-32) some of the unemployed were coming here,” head archaeologist Gordon Grimwade said.

“We found bottles dating from the 1920s-1930s which is a pretty fair indication of the Depression era.

“We didn’t expect that.

“We expected to see a change from Chinese tableware to European but not to the extent we did.

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