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May 2007

Old News

The Canberra Archaeological Society Newsletter
ISSN 1440-7035

2007 Public Lecture Series

Manning Clark Centre Theatre 6

7:30pm Wednesday 16 May

Imagining Atlantis
Dr. Ben Kelly

School of Social Sciences
In this talk I would like to take you on a voyage of discovery as we probe the ancient mysteries of Atlantis. I would like to reveal the location, history and customs of the Lost Continent, and the Wisdom it has to teach the modern world...

Unfortunately, as much as I would like to do these things, I do not actually think that there is any reason at all to believe in Atlantis (let alone Atlantean “Wisdom”). Atlantis is entirely imaginary, and the thousands of books about it are works of fiction. These works reveal nothing about a “Lost Continent”; rather, they tell us a good deal about certain aspects of Western culture during the last century and a half. In this lecture, I argue that attempts to imagine Atlantis are often really responses to modernity, and discussions of issues relevant to the modern world, such as race, identity, and science. The process of imagining Atlantis starkly reveals one of the social functions of pseudo-archaeology and fringe ancient history: the search for a “usable” ancient past.

All welcome. Entry is by gold coin donation at the door.

Please join us afterwards for light supper and a chat – find out how “down to earth” archaeologists really are.

Calling interested members to help with CAS ACT Heritage Grants:
Crinigan’s Hut Conservation and signage
The remains of John and Maria Crinigan’s hut are conserved off Wanderer Court in Amaroo, currently surrounded by a temporary fence. The remaining stone walls require some conservation prior to removing the fence and interpreting the story of the hut and surroundings. There is also some cleaning of the site to be done, to remove broken bricks and stone etc.
CAS member Marilyn Folger is a descendant of the Crinigans, one among many dedicated souls who remember their roots and keep an eye on the place. The descendants and CAS are teaming up to work on the site, from muscle work to stone conservation to research and compiling text. We also plan to involve the local residents in caring for the site so will advertise around Gungahlin and hold a field day when the site is opened to the public.
Marilyn and Louis Folger will be working on the site on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons 8, 9 and 10 May and the weekend of 26 – 27 May and some dates to be advised in June. Volunteers to help with the conservation, weeding and cleaning work will be much appreciated. Please contact Marilyn on (02) 6281-2018 or folger@netspeed.com.au to find out how to get there and confirm times etc.

ACT Heritage Store
CAS, working with staff in the Heritage Unit, is to sort through and record the heritage items in the store, make an inventory, gather any historical background, link to reports and files and advise on future storage and conservation.

Six members attended on 16 April and commenced a first sweep of what was there. Vulnerable items were relocated from substandard containers to a dry shed and work space sorted. A spreadsheet is in development and also recording sheets.

Access to the premises in Lyneham is now imminent, and our first working bee is planned for Saturday 12 May from 2 – 5pm. Please contact Helen (details below) if you can attend, especially to confirm that we do have access.

Girrawah Park sign
CAS is to work with the Indigenous representatives on wording for an interpretive sign on this park and playground in the suburb of Ngunnawal. We are hoping an Indigenous person will help us with this project.
Please contact Helen for any further information on these grants and to offer your assistance. These projects are taken on to promote archaeology in ACT and to provide enjoyable learning experiences for our members.

CAS Public Lecture Series – Speaker List 2007:




May 16

Ben Kelly

Imagining Atlantis

Friday May 25 7pm

Trivia night for archaeology week

In the Friends lounge at the NMA

Sunday June 17, 2-4pm

David Kaus

Tour of 'Open Collections’ at NMA

June 20

Michael Pickering


July 18

Phil Boot

Cup and Ring marks on the NSW South Coast

August 15

Aedeen Cremin

Image and Reality: Representations of Daily Life at Ankor, as shown on the reliefs of the Bayon and Banteay Chhmar Temples

September 19

Graham Connah

The archaeology of privilege and servitude at Lake Innes.

October 17

Rainer Grün

Direct Dating of Human Fossils

November 21

Peter Hiscock

'Hollywood and Archaeology: representations of archaeologists and the past in feature films'


Closing Date: Friday 25 May 2007

The CAR (Centre for Archaeological Research) radiocarbon dating service includes up to 60 radiocarbon dates offered by the Waikato Radiocarbon Laboratory and funding up to the value of $1800 to access other analytical facilities on campus (ANU) or off campus to complete specified archaeological research (eg. SEM, isotope analysis, OSL dating).

Eligibility to apply for dates in the CAR scheme is restricted to members who are current ANU staff on contracts of 12 months or more and to graduate students at the ANU. Applications to CAR must be submitted on or before the deadline: 5pm Friday 25 May 2007. For details and the application form please go to the CAR website http://car.anu.edu.au/facilities.html

CAS 2007 Committee Contact Details

mobile : 0408 443 243

  • Vice Presidents: Katarina Boljkovac - boljkatica@hotmail.com & Emma Bonthorne - cleoemma@hotmail.com

  • Treasurer: Katarina Boljkovac

  • Secretary: Rose O'Sullivan - rose_os@hotmail.com

  • Membership Secretary: Stephanie Hill - cas_membership@yahoo.com.au

  • Committee Member: Llanon Davis

  • Newsletter Editors:

Emma Bonthorne, Llanon Davis & Rose O’Sullivan

  • Web Master: Denise Sutherland denise@sutherland-studios.com.au

The registration for the forthcoming ANU symposium Drawn Together: on the practice and collection of indigenous drawings is now open. We have a great group of participants and so if you are interested registration details and several of the abstracts are now available at: http://www.anu.edu.au/culture/events/drawing/index.php

Bacterium found in soil and dirt improves peoples’ spirits
Research has revealed that bacteria common in soil and dirt can improve peoples’ spirits, as reported in the Sunday Times (Elliott 2007). Studies found that Mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae) stimulates the body’s immune system, which also leads to the increased production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin being a hormone associated with feeling of wellbeing, the effect has been described as being similar to that of antidepressants.
This not only demonstrates the way the body communicates with the brain and the link between physical and mental health; but also the danger of raising children in sterile environments. Exposure to common microbes in early life helps develop the immune system and without such exposure, the immune system is likely to mistake the body’s own cells as invaders. This is thought to be linked with the surge in such conditions as asthma and eczema.

Research was carried out by Dr. Chris Lowry, a neuroscientist at Bristol University. Details of this study can be found in the Neuroscience journal.

This also goes to show yet another way in which archaeology benefits society – it provides people with an opportunity to play in the dirt, and is therefore a good, healthy career that should be given more government funding.

Elliott, J. (2007). Health and happiness is all down to a roll in the dirt. The Sunday Times. 2007: UK newspaper article.

Australian Archaeological Association Media Releases: New Website
A new web site, the media release page is now in operation. To view previous releases go to:

Any appropriate media releases can be forwarded to mediaofficer@australianarchaeology.com



Professor Nicolas Peterson and Professor Matthew Spriggs
Invite you to attend supper

in the Manning Clark Centre Foyer following:
Reconsidering antiquarianism in the history of Australian archaeology

Professor Tim Murray

Latrobe University
Thursday 17 May 2007 7.30 p.m.

Manning Clark Centre Theatre 3

RSVP: 11 May, 2007 for catering purposes

E: karuna.honer@anu.edu.au

T: (02)6125 3498

Canberra Archaeological Society Trivia Night

7pm Friday 25 May, Friends Lounge, National Museum of Australia.

To celebrate National Archaeology Week, CAS is holding an Archaeology Trivia Night. Bring your own drinks and nibbles to enjoy outside beforehand!      

                    Any donations are very much appreciated, and will be acknowledged in Old News, as well as on the night.

For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Emma Bonthorne on 0402649123.

All seminars are scheduled for 11 a.m. Fridays and in the Fairbairn Room (HA1207) of the Hayden-Allen Building. Please direct queries to Mark Dawson: mark.dawson@anu.edu.au
11 May Professor Barbara Caine (Monash University):

‘Writing the History of Friendship’

18 May Professor Ann Curthoys (ANU):

‘The Ideal of Liberty in a Colonial Context: Indigenous Peoples, the British Empire, and Self-Government for the Australian Colonies’

25 May Chris Bishop (ANU):

01 June Travis Cutler (ANU):

‘Filming a Colonial History: Exploring Deadwood, Visualising Thick Description’
ANU Anthropology Seminars
Time: Wednesday mornings, 9:30 - 11:15

Place: Coombs Building, Seminar Room A

Convenor: Alan Rumsey, Dept. of Anthropology, RSPAS

alan.rumsey@anu.edu.au, tel. 6125-2365

May 9 Tamara Kohn, Anthropology, Melbourne University.

Discipline, creative power, and the body in martial arts practice

May 16 Kalpana Ram, Anthropology, Macquarie University.

Presencing the Amman in Tamil cinema: Cinema spectatorship as sensuous

Apprehension. Also showing film made by Kalpana Ram and Selvaraj Velayuthan

'The Goddess in Tamil Cinema'

May 23 Ben Smith, CAEPR, ANU.

An Aboriginal man of sorrow: sorcery and the individual in the context of native title

May 30 Nicolas Peterson¸ Archaeology and Anthropology, Arts, ANU

Animism in Australia? A Warlpiri perspective on metaphor

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