Dig It, From the Dig It Archives

From the Dig It Archives: Issue Seven 1999

By Ella Stewart-Peters


This week’s look into the Dig It archives takes us back to a time of great change as the world prepared to move into a new millennium. The ‘Presidential Address’ (Copland 1999:3-4) looks back on a rather challenging year for the Society as well as highlights the hope that was held for the future of archaeology at Flinders. A number of changes to ArchSoc had been proposed for the new millennium, some of which draw parallels to the activities of ArchSoc over the past 12 months. A new constitution was proposed and the Society sought to move Dig It into the ‘electronic age’ (Copland 1999).

Subsequent articles in this issue reflect upon individual events, specifically Quiz Night and the Archaeology Society Dinner. Quiz Night was hailed a success, despite some participants providing some rather interesting answers and with many ‘donations’ of drinks to the score keepers, making tallying the final scores a tricky task (Lewczak and Briggs 1999). The Archaeology Society Dinner allowed members to interact with the teaching staff, emphasising the close working relationship between the Department and ArchSoc that continues today. All in all, this issue is reflective whilst also showing that some things never change! Happy reading.


Briggs, S. 1999 Archaeology Society Dinner 29th of October. Dig It: Newsletter of the Flinders Archaeological Society 7:12.

Copland, G. 1999 Presidential Address. Dig It: Newsletter of the Flinders Archaeological Society 7:3-4.

Lewczak, C. and S. Briggs 1999 The World According to Quiz Night. Dig It: Newsletter of the Flinders Archaeological Society 7:9-10.


Presidential Address

Dear Members, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I hope this year has been successful for you but I know some of you, like myself, will be glad to see the end of this year and be happy to put it behind us. Yet even in adversity I am sure we have all learnt something. Well at least I hope so and, may I add, it has been a pleasure and privilege to be your President.

We have had some successful functions such as the Public Lecture series, Exhibition, Quiz Night, another Fair Day, the last Dig It and the Annual Dinner. I must thank so many for helping with all these events, in particular the Committee Members and the Feral First Years who of course now move onto be the Sedate Second Years (hopefully). The inaugural year of the Department of Archaeology is also giving us a great deal of hope for the future of Archaeology at Flinders and I’m sure that the Society will continue to support its development for the betterment of us all.

The end of the year also means that we say farewell to our Head of Department, the inimitable J.V.S. Megaw, even though he will be around next year on half time, and our congratulations to Donald Pate as incoming Department Head. For those of us who don’t speak half the languages of Europe this will be a boost for our egos but at the same time it will be a loss in terms of the links to both the Celtic and Art worlds and academia as a whole. Yet I know I speak on your behalf when I say we as a society would wish Vincent and Ruth all the best for this new venture and time in their lives and certainly pledge our support for Donald going into the new millennium.

With the new millennium in mind, and even though the country as a whole has chosen not to move on, I feel it is time for the Archaeology Society to do so. Thus you will find in the following pages a new proposal, kindly drawn up by Paul Saeki, for our constitution. This will give you time to consider the changes before the AGM to be held ·in March 2000. Basicallv the intent is to introduce a new position to deal with moving Dig It into the electronic age by making it an electronic newsletter and to take control of our own web page information that is, at present, difficult to update in the present format. and with the current links to the Department. We will still be trying to keep the Department contact by having a link between that web site and the new Dig It site. The other changes suggested are to be able to offer Life Memberships when deemed appropriate, move the AGM to October, and to elect the committee for the coming year at that time. While the incoming committee would not actually take office till the 1st of the year, they would be able to use the time to familiarise themselves with the workings of the Society before landing in it, as it were, in March when the plans for the new year should already be well underway. I hope you will consider these changes and make sure you attend the AGM in March to vote.

As for next year, we will again be having a stall at enrolment days to introduce incoming students to the joys of the Society. Hopefully there will be a promotional video at that time ready to show. Following that there will be the Fair Day in March which, as I’ve said, will also see the AGM vote later in the month.

Financially we have done quite well this year but I will let our trusty Treasurer give you the good news on this area.

While I cannot comment on the events for next year as they will be in the hands of the new committee of which I will not be a part, I can surmise that many of the events held this year will be repeated. The suggestion is also that a trip, that was to occur at the end of this year to Lake Mungo, be arranged for the early part of 2000, perhaps April or May. You will no doubt be aware that it is more than likely that the National Archaeology Students Conference will be held at Flinders sometime next year. I recommend that you all support this, along with the general student body, as vigorously as possible. While this is not an Archaeological Society run Conference, but rather, as the name suggests, a Students Conference, I am sure the Society will not only support it but assist in any way possible to make it a memorable event. If it is as good as the one in Canberra this year it will be well worth attending.

Speaking of which, all those who attended and presented a paper at a conference should write a note to this effect and drop it into Clubs and Socs or Arch. Society mail box in the Archaeology Office. Cheques will be forwarded in due course.

Yet again I seem to have rambled on but here I will draw the lie and wish you all the best for the coming silly season and the new millennium. Once again thank you to all those that assisted in making this year the success for the Society that it was.


Gordon Copland.


The World According to Quiz Night

Well it has been and gone and a lot of people would have forgotten it but there was actually a quiz night held by the Archaeology Society. A night full of highs and lows and a struggle for good and evil as people jostled for positions ….. at the bar.

For the many contestants who pitted their IQ’s against each other…there were many versions of the truth. For example, one table answered that seman was the secret ingredient in bone china and that the last operating whaling station was in Mark Staniforth’s backyard. Both answers came from the same table, and they know who they are.

Bribery was rife as the score keepers gradually became drunk from the many ‘donations’ the tables kept offering. On reflection. this was probably not a good idea as when it came to tallying up the scores, we were all too drunk to count (I didn’t even try!. … ed). Thankfully Sally May had the bright idea of bringing a calculator; but that still required us to position our fingers over the right buttons. Not an easy task.

After 10 rounds and many games that were played in between, there was an eventual winner. The “Bath Plugs” overcame all, proving that a good bath plug is all you need to get through a degree. (It is? Nobody told me! ed).

Many thanks need to go to Susan Briggs and Sally May for organising the evening, Chris Duncan for being the M.C. on his 6 year wedding anniversary, and Gordon Copland for being … well Gordon.

By Chirstopher Lewczak and Susan Briggs.


Archaeology Society Dinner 29th of October

Thanks to everyone that came. About 55 people turned up. It was also great to see the majority of the teaching staff. What other department do you get to eat oysters with the staff? To all those who booked and didn’t turn up, I know who you are and will be visiting you in the next week. Hope you all had a great evening and forgot about those exams essays piled up at home.

The evening started, for a small number of us, with pre-dinner drinks at the Talbot. We were honoured to have Vincent join us. We were honoured again to have the great ‘Groovy Sound DJ’ playing music (sarcasm detectors should be going off here!)

The ‘after’ dinner drinks were had at the Grace Emily. A light drizzle of rain slowly diluted the cheap champagne but people were more interested in what Paddy was doing with the cow and the fact that Griff had dropped his drink. Blasphemous! (What.. .. the cow business or the drink? ed)

By Susan Briggs.


To continue reading from Dig It 7, click here: DigIt7

Look out for the next edition of ‘From the Dig It Archives’ on Wednesday the 26th of June!