Dating Melbourne's cesspits: digging through the archives

Hayes, Sarah and Minchinton, Barbara 2018, Dating Melbourne's cesspits: digging through the archives, Provenance : the journal of Public Record Office Victoria, vol. 16, pp. 4-14.

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Title Dating Melbourne's cesspits: digging through the archives
Author(s) Hayes, Sarah
Minchinton, Barbara
Journal name Provenance : the journal of Public Record Office Victoria
Volume number 16
Start page 4
End page 14
Total pages 11
Publisher Public Record Office Victoria
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2018
ISSN 1832-2522
Keyword(s) Historical archaeology
Sewerage infrastructure
Melbourne history
Summary From the late 1980s to the early 2000s, a number of archaeological digs were conducted at what was known as ‘Little Lon’ in Melbourne’s central business district. Public Record Office Victoria holds extensive archival records that supported these archaeological investigations; however, records specifying the dates when cesspits were closed were not identified until late 2013. The discovery of these records opens the possibility of correlating artefacts recovered from Little Lon’s cesspits with the people who might have discarded them. For the archaeologists working on material from Little Lon and other nineteenth-century sites in Melbourne, the records are an extraordinary boon. This paper places the creation of these records within the context of Melbourne’s waste management history, considering in particular the construction and closure of its cesspits.
Language eng
Field of Research 210108 Historical Archaeology (incl Industrial Archaeology)
210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
2103 Historical Studies
HERDC Research category C3 Non-refereed articles in a professional journal
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