Day 1 – Yesterday was all about travelling, shopping and settling in. The quaint wooden dwelling of Roseview cottage commands an awesome view of the Port Arthur site.
Day 2 – Begins with a casual tour of Port Arthur. 40 minutes of convict and post-convict history sets the scene for the week ahead. The team had half an hour of personal exploration before embarking on the harbour cruise; passing the shipyard before skimming past Point Puer and circling the Isle of the Dead. The obligatory safety induction was held in the PAHSMA office. Following this there was a visit to the archaeology and historical reference collection. This visit provides a clear appreciation of the problems associated with the storage and analysis of archaeological finds. The Radcliffe curiosity collection holds intriguing artefacts, and a number of bricks stolen from Port Arthur and returned at some point.
Then down to the laboratory. Jean led us through the lab procedure and plan for the following days. Cleaning, sorting, photography and data entry await. Works behind the asylum and pauper’s mess have uncovered artefacts, and threaten some convict period infrastructure. A team rotation will survey this, and the penitentiary building which is currently the subject of an important preservation focus.