Welcome to the archaeological excavation of the Port Arthur workshops

During the course of 2020 and 2021 we will be updating this feed with information on findings from our archaeological project: “a mill for grinding rogues honest”: convict labour at an Australian industrial prison. This is a collaborative project between the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority and Dr Richard Tuffin, Postdoctoral Research Fellow from the University of New England. The investigations were got underway in March 2020 and – despite the best efforts of The Covid – will continue until May 2021. During this time we will be uncovering evidence of the multi-phase convict-period workshops that were situated in the area. The workshops were integral to the operation of the Port Arthur penal station (1830-77), a large and important centre of convict incarceration in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania, Australia).

Area of investigation

View of the Penitentiary precinct and the area to be investigated. The historic image shows the workshops as at ca.1863 (courtesy of the Tasmanian Archives, State Library of Tasmania)

As well as boring informing you of our findings, we will also provide some insight into the processes that we as archaeologists follow as we excavate, record and analyse the physical evidence of the past.  

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