Awards, Dig It, Events, News

Welcome to 2015: O Week, awards, and a new committee on board!

It’s only the second week of Semester 1 2015 at Flinders Uni, and already the year is shaping up to be a busy and productive one for Flinders ArchSoc. Here’s a wrap-up of events that launched the university year for ArchSoc:

O Week

O week Semester 1 was a great success with a steady flow of new archaeology students keen to get the year going by joining their society. It was great to see so many new faces; even better to have so many volunteer for the upcoming Digger’s Shield!

1. Emma and Dianne.O Week stall sem 1
ArchSoc O Week stall, day 1, Emma Somyden Davey and Dianne Riley

The week closed with the annual Semester 1 Archaeology Department-hosted BBQ for new and returning students, including some joining the student body from interstate. Welcome all!

Students Amber Parrington, Jacob Gwiazdzinkski  and Kathleen Gorey
Students Amber Parrington, Jacob Gwiazdzinkski  and Kathleen Gorey

For her volunteer services to ArchSoc and its publication Dig It in 2014, and for her demonstrated commitment to and passion for archaeology, Jana Rogasch was the deserving recipient of the ArchSoc Andrew Allen-Farr Award, presented at the Welcome BBQ. This year, we’re delighted to have Jana back taking care of non-course field and workshop opportunities in her new role as Field Work Coordinator.

3. Jana Rogasch and Catherine Bland
Jana Rogasch and Catherine Bland

ArchSoc Committee Handover

On Thursday 5 March the incoming 2015 Committee met at the beautiful venue Warriparinga/Living Kaurna Cultural Centre to be inducted into their new roles, with experienced committee members (including past committee member Antoinette Hennessy) providing valuable insight and guidance into the highlights and challenges of being part of an active student organisation. Jordan Ralph and Dianne Riley facilitated a well-structured day of information, training and organising, and the group left feeling energised and on task for the busy months to come.

4. Jordan Ralph presenting background for  2015 committee
Jordan Ralph giving background on ArchSoc to the 2015 Committee

FUSA Award

The Annual Flinders University Student Association (FUSA) Club Awards recognises clubs and societies for their contribution to campus culture; at the 2015 Awards Night last Friday, ArchSoc took out the award for Best Club 2014! Dianne and Jordan were there to accept the award on behalf of the 2014 committee; brilliant work all round, and many thanks to FUSA.

About the Best Club Award: Awarded to the club that has consistently remained active, engaging, and fair for the majority of the year. The Award Committee will take into consideration the length of time the club has been affiliated, the amount of activities that the club has run in 2014, and the number of members that the club has maintained, as well as anecdotal evidence seen around campus of the club’s status and activities.


Outcomes of the AGM

Thanks to those members who attended the Flinders ArchSoc AGM yesterday. It was a succinct, productive meeting and fortunately we were able to achieve quorum this year.

Congratulations to those members who were elected to the ArchSoc committee in 2015. We hope that your term is successful and effective. Please see the table below to find out who is part of the 2015 committee. Please be aware that we are yet to elect a Vice President. We will be looking for a new Vice President early in 2015.

Congratulations also to our newest Honorary Life Members, Andrew Wilkinson and Claire Smith. We thank Andrew and Claire for their commitment to ArchSoc in the past and welcome their involvement in the future. Look out for a full article about these Honorary Life Members in the next issue of Dig It.

President Dianne Riley
Vice President Unelected, to be elected at a later date
Treasurer Chelsea Wiseman
Secretary Marie Amyot
Publications Editor Jordan Ralph
Public Relations Officer Emma Davey
Field Work Coordinator Jana Rogasch
Social Coordinator Drew Jackson
Membership Officer Owen Hems
General Representative (x5) Adeena Fowke

Virginia Ward

Rhiannon Agutter

Matthew Hornsby

Celeste Jordan

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, News

Call for papers, Dig It: the Journal of the Flinders Archaeological Society

Dear colleagues,

The editing committee of Dig It is delighted to invite undergrad and postgrad students and recent graduates from all around the world to submit a contribution for consideration in our 2014/1 edition, to appear in May 2014.

Dig It is a student-run journal of the Flinders Archaeological Society. The publication began in 1997 and after a hiatus of eight years, it was relaunched in 2012. The purpose of Dig It is to provide students, from undergrad through to postgrad and recent graduates, with the opportunity to practise and familiarise themselves with writing, publishing, editing and the reviewing process involved in professional publications. In addition, it aims to keep aspiring archaeologists connected and informed about what is happening in the archaeological community.

Dig It accepts original research articles, research essays, personal opinion pieces, book reviews and thesis abstracts. Details about the guidelines for contributors can be found here:

All contributions are reviewed by the editors and a panel of reviewers; however original research articles and essays additionally undergo a stricter and anonymous peer review process also involving external experts.

We welcome contributions from local, interstate and international undergrad and postgrad students and recent graduates. If you want to contribute a research article or essay to Dig It 2014/1, please send us an abstract of 200 words. For personal opinion pieces, book reviews and thesis abstracts, a more informal expressions of interest is sufficient.

The submission deadline for abstracts (for original research papers and essays) or expressions of interest (for other contributions) is 4th February 2014.

Both should be emailed to Please mind that when sending an abstract for a research article or essay, contributors must provide names and email addresses of three persons with expertise in the field the paper relates to, which can be contacted by the editors of Dig It about peer reviewing. Reviewers can be of any academic status, however students or recent graduates are preferred in agreement with the mission statement of Dig It as providing the opportunity for professional training to students.

The editing committee of Dig It will inform you about whether or not your contribution will be considered within three weeks after 4th February and advise you on the further production schedule.


Jana Rogasch, editor

Matthew Ebbs, co-editor (academic reviews)

Antoinette Hennessy, co-editor (social)

Jordan Ralph, co-editor (layout and interviews)

Dig It, From the Dig It Archives

From the Dig It Archives: Issue Three 1998

By Nessa Beasley

For the third post of Flinders ArchSoc’s ‘From the Dig It Archives’, we have three interesting articles from 1998 (Issue 3) for your viewing.

In ‘Message from the Chair’ (1998:2) President Matthew Rice discusses the popularity and success of the newsletter’s first two issues from the previous year (when Dig It was introduced). Rice extends a thank you to the many contributors to the development of the newsletter by the Society’s members – a valuable source from which the contemporary Dig It continues to amass much of its content.

In the second piece, ‘The Diggers Plate’, the results of the annual cricket match between the Palaeontology Society and the Archaeology Society are comically relayed. This cricket match for the ‘diggers plate’, between since-forever arch nemeses, was once an annual tradition that ArchSoc would like to revive, but watch this space…

And finally, we have found an article from this issue about our very own, Claire Smith. The ‘Staff Profile: Claire Smith’ welcomes Claire to Flinders, provides a background to Claire’s arrival and details some of her achievements and research interests. More importantly, the article suggests that happiness may lie with a Dalmation called Blot…

Happy readings; and don’t forget, comments are welcomed below and discussion is encouraged! In fact…here’s a start-  would you like to:

a)      play in a cricket match against the palaeo’s


b)      at least watch and laugh at archaeo’s trying to hit things fast? (e.g. cricket balls, palaeo’s…etc)


c)      does anyone have a Dalmation called Blot we can borrow?

Let us know below and enjoy!


Flinders University Archaeology Society 1998 Staff Profile: Claire Smith. Dig It: Newsletter of the Flinders Archaeological Society 3:16-17.

Flinders University Archaeology Society 1998 The Diggers Plate: The Annual Archaeology vs. Palaeontology Cricket Match. Dig It: Newsletter of the Flinders Archaeological Society 3:3-4.

Rice, M. 1998 Message from the Chair. Dig It: Newsletter of the Flinders Archaeological Society 3:2.


Message from the chair

Well here it is, the third, final and most voluminous edition of Dig It for 1997. Its pages, packed as they are with archaeological intrigue reflect the many activities in which the Society has been involved throughout the year.

While the Society has continued to hold the more traditional events such as B.B.Q.s, field trips and dinners, we have also been driven by the desire to make the Society bigger, better and more inviting to students and staff. To achieve this end it was decided that a tri annual Newsletter was needed to market the Society and provide valuable information and gossip to its members. The first edition of Dig It, proved to be extremely successful at achieving this goal with copies quickly being snapped up. (Recent reports suggest that the first edition of Dig It is now considered an endangered species!). The second issue of Dig It was released in August. The demand for this edition exceeded all expectations and additional copies were required to appease the masses! Of course none of this would have been possible without the dedication of the Societies many members and I would like to thank all those who generously donated their time and expertise either in the writing of articles or in the general production of Dig It.

Lastly I would like to thank Sue Booth, Marilyn Graham and Phil Weeks from Clubs and Societies for all their help during the year and just for putting up with us.

There is no doubt 1997 has been a great year for the Society, and it has been a pleasure to work with such an ambitious team of people. See you all in the Tavern!

Mathew Rice

Principal Editors: Paul Rapita; Mathew Rice

Editing crew: Paul Rapita; Mathew Rice; Chris Langeluddecke; Katrina Stankowski; Julie Ford; Simone Dalgairnf; Peter Birt; Vincent Megaw; Claire Smith; Mark Staniforth; Donald Pate

Contributions: Paul Rapita; Vincent Megaw; Claire Smith; Chris Langeluddecke; Katrina Stankowski; David Bartholomeusz; Nathan Richards



The onset of 1997 witnessed the ascension of an ambitious committee to the Archaeology Society, and having reflected upon what was achieved throughout the year, I feel that the Archaeology Society as a Campus organisation has matured, as have the committee members at its helm. Efforts to accomplish what has been achieved, while driven by a small handful has been largely supported by the broader members of the Society, without whose support, very little would have been possible. Since the Society’s inception some four years ago, there have been regular newsletters, however 1997 saw the development of a new format (an example of which is currently within your palms) for Dig It and I hope that the momentum behind last year’s publications is maintained. The Clubs and Societies Office (undercroft, beneath the Tavern) has a number of resources available, including computers, scanners and photocopies, which are accessible to everyone who wishes to get involved in the production of future editions of Dig it, to make full use of these facilities. Additional resources include the internet, where the Dig It E-mail address can be reached. It takes considerable tenacity and determination to produce a newsletter, and requires broad level communication, and the ability to hound people ruthlessly. Not to be deterred, the contacts, the skills and experience acquired have made it very rewarding.

Thanks to all previous contributions.

Paul Rapita


The Digger’s Plate: The annual Archaeology vs Palaeontology Cricket match

The inaugural Digger’s Plate inter-society Cricket match was played on the University Cricket Grounds between the much pouted Palaeontology Society and the eager beavers from the Archaeology Society, on Sunday morning, in the middle of October 1997.

Conditions were sensational on the day, fine and warm with a light breeze, from the south.

The Archaeology Society fielded a confident but down on practice team, captained by Tim Anson, looking absolutely marvellous in all the equipage that 90’s cricket could offer an aspiring wicket keeper.

F. U. A. S won the toss and chose to bat first. Our strategy was a simple one – get our members to the pitch, before the beer got to them. Apparently batting is much harder under the influence than fielding. Hang overs of course constituted an area that we had no measure of, rarely expressed but implied by grunts and groans; and there were many of those.

Howz That ? Phil opened our batting line up with Jacob, and quickly discovered the pitch was a little damp, making it very difficult to read. Phil scored a whopping 18 runs before being bowled out, outlasting Jacob who was bowled for a duck. Dave Mott was caught out with 6 runs under the belt (probably the same in beers!). Captain Tim added another 16 runs before being bowled out. F.U. A.S managed something like 11 fours and a six which found its way on to the intersection of South and Sturt Roads, holding up play for nearly ten minutes. After 30 overs and much cheering from the hill, F.U.A.S set the target of 115 runs for the Palaeontology Society to chase.

By the time the Palaeontology team were padded up and ready to go, the pitch had dried out transforming otherwise pathetic bitumen bowlers into test cricket prodigies. The F.U.A.S bowling line up included- Phil who claimed a couple of wickets, Dave, Katherine, Jake, Mat and Paul.

Despite our determined and persistent efforts the Palaeo’s achieved our run score with one over remaining in the game and 2 wickets still in hand. There was some criticism relating to umpiring decisions as umpires were substituted from the batting teams. Perhaps in the future, given more time to organise the next game, Umpires for the day should be elected from both teams and declared before the onset of the game, and should not be part of the team. But that’s for 1998.

There was an interesting comment made about a “Boys Club”, when it came to the Digger’s Plate, which is not how we feel about it and we seriously encourage more people to become a part of the action.

Hopefully, we’ll be better prepared in 1998, and wrench the Digger’s Plate from the Palaeontologists Biology Office (where it is to temporarily reside) to hang it in the Archaeology Office in 1999.

Why the Digger’s Plate, you wonder ? Palaeontologists and Archaeologists have very different digging habits; of course there are different arguments supporting each claim; and it is common for each group to be critical of the other’s field methods. But digging semantics aside, both archaeology and palaeontology are very similar in their fields of study and may, as in Cuddie Springs, overlap.

The Digger’s Plate will be on display during ‘0’ Week in the Plaza on Wednesday, February 24, before it falls into the clutches of Gavin Prideaux (Captain of the Palaeontology team).

The Archaeology Batting lineup:

I. Phil Czerwinski 18 (bowled)

2. Jacob Habner 0 (bowled)

3. Dave Mott 6 (caught)

4. Tim Anson 16 (bowled)

5. Katherine Henderson 7 (caught)

6. Garth Masters 10 (bowled)

7. Chris Munce 34 (bowled)

8. Mathew Rice 3 (caught)

9. Chris Langeluddeke 2 (bowled)

10. Sally May 0 (stumped)

II. Nathan Richards 1

Archaeology bowling lineup:

David Mott; Phil Czerwinski; Jacob Habner; Paul Rapita; Mathew Rice; Katherine Henderson; Garth Masters; Chris Munce


Staff Profile: Claire Smith

Claire Smith joined the staff at Flinders University at the beginning of 1998. She is delighted to be here and to be learning how to be a teacher. Prior to coming to Flinders Claire was an ARC post-doctoral research fellow at the University of New England. She obtained her PhD from UNE in 1996.

Claire’s primary research interests are ethnoarchaeology and the archaeology of art. She has on-going ethnoarchaeological fieldwork projects in the Barunga region of southern Arnhem Land, Australia; in Bihar State, India; and in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Her major research project at the moment is a cross-cultural study of indigenous body art, which involves identifying any common factors which influence a single art across cultures as well as the range of possible influences on this art form. Claire is also researching the social factors which influence the occurrence of geometric and figurative art in indigenous societies.

With the assistance of Heather Burke of UNE, Claire convened the 1997 Fulbright symposium ‘Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World’. This was held in Darwin and was innovative in that it integrated cultural performances and workshops with panel discussions.

Four hours live coverage a day was broadcast internationally by Batchelor College, the Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Associatioin (TEABBA) and the the National Indigenous Media Association of Australia (NIMAA).

Claire teaches the second year topic Australian Archaeology A (ARCH 2001), which focuses on Indigenous Australian archaeology, as well as the third year topics The Archaeology of Art (ARCH 3001) and Power, Ethnicity and Gender in Archaeology (ARCH 3007). Also, she is the co-ordinator of the Archaeology Honours and Postgraduate programmes.

Claire is Senior Editor of Australian Archaeology, the journal of the  Australian Archaeological Association. She is also the junior representative on the Executive of the World Archaeological Congress for Southeastern Asia and the Pacific as well as Editor of WAC News, the newsletter of the World Archaeological Congress.

Claire’s life outside of archaeology is shared by her husband, Gary Jackson, and their 8- year-old son, Jimmy. Her life ambitions include acquiring two Dalmatians, which she will name either Spot and Dot or jot and Blot. In addition, she aspires to learning to speak Italian and/ or Indonesian and to playing the flute. In the meantime, she watches SBS* television and listens to the radio.

Claire is also teaching ARCH 3007

Power, Ethnicity and Gender in Archaeology

Claire can be found in the Archaeology Offices

Phone: 8201 2336


To continue reading from Dig It 3, click here: DigIt3

Look out for the next edition of ‘From the Dig It Archives’ on Wednesday the 22nd of May!

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”


Day of Archaeology (Semester One in Review)

This post originally featured on the public archaeology project ‘A Day of Archaeology’

In an average week, members of the Flinders Archaeological Society (ArchSoc) committee spend hours organising events and opportunities for the professional development and social interaction of archaeology students from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. Today is different, however, because we are taking time out for the exam period and end of semester assessments, and although we are not doing an incredible amount today, ArchSoc wanted to support this fantastic project nonetheless.

Continue reading “Day of Archaeology (Semester One in Review)”

Field Work, News

Background noise: a double edged sword

By Sam Deer

Most archaeologists working in the field know far too well of the bothers that can be caused by background noise when looking for artefacts at a site. This little trickster comes in a variety of forms, usually depending on what field you’re working in – e.g. for indigenous archaeologists looking for stone artefacts background noise usually rears its ugly head in the form of stone fragments of the “non-artefactual” variety.

While investigating the site of the Seven Stars Hotel at Red Banks, SA, with a group of approximately 18 Flinders University students and staff, background noise proved to be a bit of a double edged sword, mischievously messing with not just the usual one, but two of the most important senses necessary to carry out a worthwhile investigation in such a setting.

The Seven Stars Hotel was a popular drinking hole for locals in the 60s and 70s and got its name from its location at the time – at the intersection of (yes, you guessed it) seven roads. Today the pub is non-existent to the naked eye – the only remnants are thousands of artefact fragments (bottles, ceramics, bricks and more) scattered throughout a field and the surrounding area. As would be expected when working on a site that’s been cultivated and ploughed extensively, background noise played tricks on the visual senses of field workers in the form of artefact-resembling rocks, remnants of crops, clumps of soil, grass and snail shells (see image above).

Situated right on the roadside (and quite possibly underneath it), the fieldwork being done on the site was hindered even further at the hands of background noise from passing traffic – every time a vehicle drove past the site a deafening roar filled the air and rendered any communication being attempted at that moment pointless. Conversations and instructions had to be repeated regularly, and we found ourselves on more than one occasion having to wait patiently as a convoy of cars cleared the area. This proved to be quite infuriating, especially when trying to communicate GPS co-ordinates across an open field with the wind also blaring in the background.

On the upside, we managed to defeat background noise and make the project and field school a great success – more than a thousand artefacts were collected from the site!

Field Work, News

From red dirt to Redbanks… and back again

By Mandy Atkinson

I have been lucky enough to have worked as a consultant archaeologist since completing my undergraduate and since that time have been working only in Aboriginal cultural heritage management. In a consultant’s world, you walk a lot, there’s nasty bugs and spikey bushes at every turn and there’s always more work to do than there is time to do it, quite a contrast to the friendly field school!

A ‘red dirt’ excavation in western NSW

With a view to enhance my professional skill set, I decided I should try my hand at historical archaeology… and brush up on my field skills while I was there. I drove from Sydney, NSW to the Seven Stars Hotel historical archaeological site at Redbanks, SA, via Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo (as I had work to do on the way). For 1500km I was bursting with excitement and enthusiasm at the prospect of a new ‘archaeology experience’.

I will confess I was completely underwhelmed for the first few days and actually found it much more difficult than I care to admit. On the first transect I caught myself walking past numerous artefacts. Why? Usually I would consider pieces of glass, ceramics and nails as background scatter impeding my ability to discover Aboriginal cultural heritage material.  So I turned around and re-did 20m or so of transect, hopefully unnoticed and concentrating intensely.

Redbanks, South Australia

After I few days of great company and learning a few new ‘tricks’ I started to warm up to the idea historical archaeology and to the site, which may have once been a pub.  I was impressed by a few interesting artefacts, found the working conditions beyond fantastic and was completely baffled by the ‘site boundary’ (and still I am!). All in all, it was a wonderful introduction to historical archaeology however my passion is still, and will always, be for Indigenous archaeology.

In my haste to start a new job, the next day and about 800km away, I left my backpack with all required field gear in Redbanks. Not the best way to start a new job! I must thank the backpack rescue team; Heather for posting it right away and John the station manager for driving 200km into town to pick it up for me!