National Archaeology Week Program

National Archaeology Week aims to increase the public awareness of Australian archaeology and the work of Australian Archaeologists both at home and abroad, and to promote the importance to protect Australia’s unique archaeological heritage.

Cross River Rail has been uncovering Brisbane’s past while building for the future, and we ran a series of online lectures from Monday 18 to Friday 22 May, to celebrate National Archaeology Week.

As well as watching the recorded live streams below, you can get involved at home with downloadable archeologically-themed activities for students at our Education page.

Archaeology

Building Brisbane’s new underground means digging deep in the city at a variety of locations. During excavation, demolition and removing rubble from worksites, it’s very likely that items of archaeological significance will be uncovered.

Already, Cross River Rail has unearthed several artefacts from our GoPrint and Landcentre sites at Woolloongabba, that reveal what life was like in Brisbane at the turn of the 20th century at this location.

  • Archaeology and Cross River Rail

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  • Brisbane’s rich heritage at all Cross River Rail worksites means it’s very likely that items of archaeological significance will be uncovered along the project corridor.

    It is common to find items of archaeological significance on large infrastructure projects.

    There is an Archaeological Management Plan to ensure the archaeological risks for the project are identified as the work goes on. This includes preparing archaeological assessments of the work areas, settling in place conservation and management policies and identifying zones of archaeological interest.

    Archaeologists inspect the site and carefully uncover potential finds. Finds are then measured, photographed, and soil samples and sketches of the find taken while it is in the ground. It is then taken to the workshop for cleaning, cataloguing, and further study.

    When an artefact is found it is catalogued, analysed, cleaned, and placed in special storage bags, or boxes for further study or added to a collection. The artefact may go to the Queensland Museum, Queensland Rail, The Workshops Rail Museum, or a local historical society or museum.

    We expect to find more artefacts from throughout the history of Brisbane. However, some periods of Brisbane’s history will have more artefacts than others.

    • Penal settlement (1825 – 1839): Exceedingly rare
    • Growth of the colony (1839 – 1885): Very rare
    • Boom and bust (1885 – 1939): Rare
    • World War Two (1939 – 1945): Exceedingly rare
    • Post war (1945 – Present): Representative of 20th century

Cross River Rail's archaeology discoveries

Cross River Rail's archaeology discoveries

Discover more at the Experience Centre

Some of the artefacts found will be housed in the Cross River Rail Experience Centre and the historical backgrounds to each of these items and the locations they are found will become part of the evolving historical collection on display at the Centre.

These artefacts will be shared with the community to add to our collective understanding of Brisbane’s rich history.

  • FAQs

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  • Archaeology is the study of the human past using remains of objects that people created, modified, or used. The archaeological record consists of artefacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes. Project archaeologists have researched the historical archive to understand how our sites have been used since European settlement up to the present day, to determine whether they are likely to be artefacts.

    There is an Archaeological Management Plan to ensure that archaeological risks for the Project are identified as the work goes on. This includes preparing archaeological assessments of the work areas, setting in place conservation and management policies, and identifying zones of archaeological interest.

    As the excavations works progress, archaeologists inspect the site and will carefully uncover potential finds. Lots of measurements, photographs, soil samples and sketches are taken of the find while it is in the ground. If possible and necessary it will then be removed to the workshop for cleaning, cataloguing, and further study.

    We might find artefacts from throughout the history of Brisbane. However, some periods have more artefacts than others.

    • Penal settlement (1825-1839): Exceedingly rare
    • Growth of the colony (1839 – 1885): Very rare
    • Boom and bust (1885 – 1939): Rare
    • World War Two (1939 – 1945): Exceedingly rare
    • Post-war (1945 – present): Representative 20th century

    Once we have found an artefact, it is catalogued, analysed, cleaned, and stored in special storage bags or boxes for further study or addition to a collection. Depending on the artefact, it might go to Queensland Museum, Queensland Rail, the Workshops Rail Museum, or a local historical society or museum. Some finds will remain in-situ and be assessed where they are found, such as brick drains.