NSW: At Home, At Work, In Public: Archaeologies of Domestic Life


Event Details


Co-presented with the Department of Archaeology and the Nicholson Museum, at the University of Sydney.

To celebrate National Archaeology Week, we bring together three archaeologists, working on different scales, to talk about their research into the material culture of three diverse domestic settings.

Moderated by Dr James Flexner, Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney

Presenters and topics:

Pamela Chauvel on Archaeology and working life on Maria Island

In the 1880s, Bernacchi, a recent immigrant and ambitious entrepreneur, began to transform the convict landscape of Maria Island off the coast of Tasmania. A row of cottages known as the Twelve Apostles are now gone but their archaeological remains have the potential to tell us about the lives of the people who lived there. While the cottages were meant to be standardised, archaeological remains offer subtle clues about individual choice

Pamela Chauvel is a Masters student in archaeology at the University of Sydney. She has 20 years experience as an educator in high schools and museums, and is currently working as a consulting archaeologist in the Sydney area. Her Masters research will examine the domestic landscapes of Maria Island’s industrial period.

Candace Richards on Domestic spaces in public places: Finding evidence for home life in contemporary museum exhibitions

Navigating museum collections to glimpse the home life of ancient peoples can be a difficult task if not the central focus of a current exhibition. Artefacts from the domestic arena are often hidden in plain sight, amongst exhibitions that focus on the catchier sex, death and rock ‘n’ roll aspects of ancient history. In this short talk I will re-examine archaeological artefacts such as bowls, cups, jewellery, and loom weights on display in the Nicholson Museum to highlight the threads of home-life woven through the current Classical, Egyptian and Near Eastern exhibitions.

Candace Richards is the Assistant Curator of the Nicholson Museum, and has been part of the Sydney University Museums team for over ten years. Her work is currently focused on the development of new research projects and exhibitions of the Nicholson’s Classical and Egyptian archaeology and antiquities collections for the Chau Chak Wing Museum, opening late 2018. Most recently she is a senior team member of the Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project and is undertaking research on recycling and reuse in the area of Nea Paphos.

Craig Barker on A theatrical life

How did an ancient Greek or Roman audience interact with the theatre? How did performance (and its associated religious ritual) impact upon the daily life of ancient Mediterranean people?
These are some of the questions asked by archaeologists and classicists studying ancient drama, and at the forefront of the minds of participants of the Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project, the University of Sydney’s archaeological excavations at the World Heritage listed Hellenistic-Roman theatre of Nea Paphos in Cyprus. Uncovering a building that was used for performance for over six and a half centuries, the team examines the architectural development of a theatrical space during the changing nature of performance as well as looks at ancient objects associated with theatrical performance that were found not in the theatre itself, but within the nearby domestic houses of Paphos.

Craig Barker is Manager of Education and Public Programs at Sydney University Museums. He has a PhD in Classical Archaeology from the University of Sydney and is Director of the Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project in Cyprus at the World Heritage listed archaeological site of Nea Paphos. He has extensive fieldwork experience in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Australia and has published on a range of archaeological subjects. He appears on ABC Local Radio once a month with Rhianna Patrick on the ‘Can You Dig It’ segment.

Date: 6-7.30pm, Thursday 18 May 2017

Venue: Philosophy Room, The Quadrangle, The University of Sydney

Please register here.

Archives Office of Tasmania, ‘Photograph – 12 Apostles, Maria Island’ (NS1013-1-1440)