Archaeology @ Port Arthur 2008

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Industry Museums or Libraries
Location Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia
Introduction Archaeology at the Port Arthur Historic Site focuses on the historical period related to the operation of the penal settlement (1830 - 1877), and to a lesser extent the subsequent free township of Carnarvon/Port Arthur. The annual programme of works involves monitoring and mitigating tourism developments, undertaking building and landscape conservation studies, as well as pure research projects aimed at elucidating the lives of the convicts, civilian and military personnel, and later free-settlers. The Historic Site comprises a vast material archive of standing structures, landscape elements and cultural deposits that contain evidence of, amongst other things, 19th century European colonisation processes, landscape perceptions and modifications, penal philosophies and strategies, convict responses, colonial and institutional economics, industrialisation, trade and consumer behaviour. The legacy of the convict system can be explored through comparison of past and present institutional material culture, while post-convict fabric and uses signpost significant national trends in the development of cultural tourism and heritage consciousness.