Events, Field Work

Using the total station – a workshop with Rob Koch

** ArchSoc’s last workshop before the mid-year break! **

Back by popular demand

Date: Saturday June 6th 2015
Time: 10am – 1.30pm with a break for morning tea
Where: HUM115 and courtyard
What to bring: Yourself, a notebook and pen
RSVP: To Jana by June 4th at the latest

maximum 9 participants – first come, first served.

This is the first of a series of ArchSoc-organised workshops providing student members with the invaluable opportunity to get familiar with technical equipment and processes that are fundamental to field archaeology, in a supportive environment.

Workshop content

After a short theoretical introduction into what a total station is and can do, participants will get lots of practice setting up the station and recording points. The workshop is ideal to get some hands-on training in using the total station before heading out into the field.

Who can participate?

The workshop is aimed at people with minimal or no experience with total stations. Participants must be ArchSoc members. You may join on the day.

About the presenter

Rob, a retired Licensed Surveyor, has taught surveying 38 years and worked as consultant surveyor on many archaeological projects over the past 10 years or so.

Events, Field Work, News

Greater protection for GPS units

ArchSoc’s Garmin Rino 650 GPS units will have extra protection thanks to the proceeds of the recent bake sale. This week ArchSoc purchased a customised Pelican Storm Case* (model iM2100) in preparation for lending the equipment out to financial members from 2015. This purchase means that the Rinos will be stored in a watertight, dust proof and shock proof container, therefore ensuring they are not damaged during storage and transport to field work. Speaking from experience, these cases can even be driven over in a fully-laden 4wd without damaging the case or the contents.  To top it off, the case has a lifetime warranty.

The timing of this purchase was great. Next Tuesday the 28th of October, ArchSoc is holding a meeting in HUMN 106 at Flinders University to discuss the future of ArchSoc. Among other things, the storage and borrowing policy and procedure for the Rinos will be drafted (the final policy and procedure will be adopted at the AGM in November). There will be further email updates about the meeting and AGM via email.

On Saturday the 8th of November 10am-2pm, ArchSoc will be holding another demonstration day dedicated to the Garmin Rino units. If you’d like to know more about using these GPS units, from beginning to end, please email ArchSoc President Di Riley to book your spot (places are limited).

Thanks to all who supported the bake sale by supplying the goods and/or purchasing them.

*ArchSoc has no affiliation with Pelican and did not/will not receive any benefit from publishing this article.

Events, Field Work

Total Station Workshop 13/09/14

On Saturday the 13th of September ArchSoc is holding another Total Station workshop. This workshop will take place in the Social Sciences South courtyard from 10am to 2pm (Flinders University/sign in is at 9:50am). This workshop is for beginners only. The people who attended the first workshop are also welcome to attended this session as a follow up class. A separate rino workshop is being scheduled for October. BYO lunch. Coffee, tea and water and biscuits will be supplied. Rob Koch is our demonstrator.

Numbers are limited so book asap by contacting Dianne Riley

Events, Field Work, News

Total Station and GPS Workshop 23/08/14

This Saturday, the 23rd of August, ArchSoc is holding a Total Station workshop for financial members. The workshop will take place at the Flinders University Campus, Bedford Park starting at 10:00am and finishing at 2:00pm. Lunch will be Pizza and soft drinks, courtesy of ArchSoc after the workshop. There will be coffee and tea available during the morning.

Workshop Programme:

Demonstration of the use of a Total Station by Rob Koch

Demonstration of the use of ArchSoc’s Garmin Rino GPS units by Jordan Ralph.

The workshop is restricted to 8-10 people, so be quick and register. Undergraduates are highly encouraged to attend.

This is a unique opportunity to work with experts in their field in a one on one situation​. The workshop will go ahead no matter what the weather. There is no cost to participants as the demonstrators are kindly donating their time and expertise.

To register please contact Dianne Riley.

Dig It, Events, Field Work, News

Update: Semester 2 2014

It has come to our attention that some people haven’t been receiving our emails. We think we have resolved this issue and have re-added our members’ emails to our list server, and fixed the issue with the member database.

Some of the notices that you might have missed over the last few weeks related to the new issue of ArchSoc’s journal, Dig It (ISSN 1440-2475). For any member who hasn’t received a physical copy, please let us know via email if  you want a copy posted out to you or if you would prefer to collect it yourself.  Just a reminder that only current financial members are eligible to receive a hard copy.

Please note, that for people who are not members, you can access the digital version of Dig It Volume 2, Issue 1 (ISSN 12201-1898) here.

At the moment we have 119 members, which is down from last year by approximately 50 members. Now is the perfect time to join, as we will be holding a number of events, including fieldwork training/practice days, a quiz night and the next issue of Dig It will be published towards the end of the year. To read more about the benefits of ArchSoc, and to purchase membership, please visit our About Us and Become a Member pages. To check your membership status, please email the Membership Officer.

Field Work, News

Volunteer opportunity at Old Government House

ArchSoc’s recording project at Old Government House is fast approaching and we still have enough room for more participants! We will be recording this rather exciting façade with the help and expertise of Dr Bob Stone.

Completed in 1860 the construction cost a whopping £1600. Lovingly restored in the 1970s inside and out to its former Victorian glory, this vice-regal boasts some rather dramatic architectural features which will be a treat to discover.

Our project will include learning to describe and record to scale all of the external features of the main building and of the servant’s quarters, located to the rear of the main building over two and a half days. Depending on participant numbers we may also be recording the grounds.

This project has been organised in conjunction with the Friends of Old Government House who carefully maintain the house, the servant’s quarters and the grounds.

If you would like to join the field trip please email Jess at to register your interest. Please indicate whether you require accommodation and transport.

File source:
File source:
Field Work, News

Join ArchSoc at Old Government House this Winter

Flinders ArchSoc is pleased to announce the upcoming field trip to Belair National Park to conduct a survey of Old Government House and the servants’ quarters. This is a great chance to experience recording a standing structure and practice those scale drawings, in a learning environment; especially good for those who have never recorded a standing structure. This event is free to ArchSoc members. If you are not a member and want to come, you can join by paying the $15 fee here.

The field trip will run from 10am Friday August the 9th until midday on Sunday August the 11th and will include recording the external standing structure of Old Government House, and the front façade of the servants’ quarters. The inside of the buildings will not be recorded. Afterwards there will be time to visit the inside of the house, when it is open to the public between 1 and 4pm Sunday.

A few members of the team will be staying nearby at the Belair National Park Caravan Park. It is literally next door to the park. Their website details information about their accommodation and the costs: The cheapest option is to camp on an unpowered site at $30 per night (plus $9.00 for an extra adult), or get together a group and share a cabin between a few people. Participants need to be aware that it is cold and often wet in the Adelaide Hills and therefore be prepared to bring warm and probably waterproof clothes. Drawing and measuring equipment will be supplied.

For members of the team staying at the caravan park, ArchSoc will be putting on dinner on Friday and Saturday night for those who would like to join in on the fun. Camping is not required, you are welcome to stay at your own house and commute every day.

Interested members will need to contact Jessica Lumb to register their interest for this trip. Details of the field trip will then be shared with those parties. Contact Jess by email at Please indicate whether you would require transport, accommodation and dinner!

In the meantime, for those who have not visited it before, Belair National Park is nestled in the Adelaide Hills. Proclaimed The National Park of South Australia in 1891, it was the first in South Australia, and only the eighth of its kind in the world (Tamblyn 2007:5).

The servants’ quarters date from 1848, first serving as a farm keeper’s residence when the area operated as ‘Government Farm’ from 1840. The Old Government House itself was not completed until 1860, having been commissioned as a summer residence by the colony’s sixth Governor, Sir Richard MacDonnell (Tamblyn 2007:13).

Old Government House was damaged by an earthquake in 1954 and was left run down by 1958. It was lovingly restored in the 1960’s and 1970’s in the style popular from 1860 – 1880, when it was used by South Australia’s Governors. This was just one of the uses of this prominent feature of the National Parks landscape. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for more information about Old Government House and its relationship with Belair National Park.

Field Work, News

Prospecting the History of the Hills: Volunteer Opportunity in Prospect Hill

Over the weekend of the 29th and 30th of September, ArchSoc will be conducting a field survey at the site of the Deputy Surveyor-General of South Australia, Thomas Burr’s camp in Prospect Hill, South Australia. During this project we will be helping the Prospect Hill Historical Museum and the Prospect Hill Community Association Inc. to identify and interpret material evidence of the existence of the 19th Century surveyor’s camp, which was inhabited by Thomas Burr and his family during the c.1840s.

Participants in this project will assist ArchSoc in producing a high-quality, publishable report about the historical and archaeological backgrounds of the area. Following the field survey, participants will also help in collating the survey data to be included in a final report. The final report will be presented to the Prospect Hill Historical Museum.

Continue reading “Prospecting the History of the Hills: Volunteer Opportunity in Prospect Hill”

Events, Field Work

Old Plympton Railway Station: Mud Map

Here is a mud map prepared by an ArchSoc volunteer. This map was created using careful observations of the landscape and a pacing unit (measuring distances with the length of one’s stride). The hand-drawn map was then animated, as shown below.

Compare to this google satellite photograph:

As we can see, the scale is a little out, however, the mud map captures all significant features of the site. This comes in handy when familiarising oneself with the site and when internet access is limited.