The Search for Drybread

During the archaeological investigations at Drybread we are not just looking at the cemetery, but we are also looking for evidence of the places where these people lived and worked: the Drybread Diggings. Drybread was a small goldfields canvas town that like many others sprang into existence in the early 1860s during the Otago Goldrushes, … Continue reading The Search for Drybread

We’re dusting off our tools, and headed to Drybread!

It's been a while since we posted on the blog - post-lockdown we've been very busy catching up on analysis and making plans for the future - one of which is heading into a new collaboration with the Drybread Cemetery Trust, to help them understand the extent of their burials, and hopefully shed some light … Continue reading We’re dusting off our tools, and headed to Drybread!

Reconstructing Milton life using tooth, bone and hair chemistry

This week we have an article out in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology looking at reconstructing the lives of the St. John's, Milton individuals using isotopic analysis. In this post we explain how we do this kind of analysis, and give you some of the highlights of the article. In previous posts I've talked … Continue reading Reconstructing Milton life using tooth, bone and hair chemistry

Archaeology – it’s child’s play

In the Southern Cemeteries project we mostly study skeletal remains and archaeology relating to death and burial. Not always the cheeriest topic! It's really important for us to remember that the people we're looking at lived lives before they died. They experienced hardships certainly, but they also had fun times! So for the final blogs … Continue reading Archaeology – it’s child’s play

Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases

In our last post we talked about the tragic story of the sisters who died of whooping cough just one day apart. Today in blog 4 of our Little Lives series, paleopathologist Dr. Annie Snoddy talks about the diseases that used to make childhood so dangerous for our colonists. Infants and children are the “canary … Continue reading Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases

Two sisters from St. John’s?

Historically, children have been very much ignored by archaeologists, and stories of little lives are often not told. But we know that the lives of children touch the lives of the whole community, and so whatever we can find out about them is important. Because their bones and teeth are so delicate we're often limited … Continue reading Two sisters from St. John’s?

Children in the Archaeological Record

Today we begin our Little Lives blog series for New Zealand Archaeology week. Welcome! Come and join us as we shine a light on the children of colonial times, whose stories so often don't get told in the history books... Today Dr. Peter Petchey starts us off with some insight into the children in burial … Continue reading Children in the Archaeological Record

Introducing our blog series – “Little Lives”

Women and children are often less studied in archaelogy - this blog series aims to put that right!A woman breast feeding her baby, with a dog sitting next to them in a rural setting. Etching by C. Lewis, 1848, after Sir E. Landseer, 1837.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) This coming week the … Continue reading Introducing our blog series – “Little Lives”

Isolation in the colonial period

Last week we posted on how Otago handled the Influenza epidemic of 1918. This week, as New Zealand moves into lockdown due to Covid-19, Dr. Peter Petchey tells us what isolation meant to the European colonial settlers of NZ. As we all go into four weeks of social isolation it will be the greatest change … Continue reading Isolation in the colonial period