Shopping for coffin decorations – how TradeMe helped us visualise colonial funerals

Today's blog is another from our excavation co-director and expert historical archaeologist Dr. Peter Petchey. Here he tells us more about the decorated coffins and how sometimes help in visualising the past comes from unexpected places... A previous blog entry looked at Victorian funerals and the decoration that was sometimes applied to coffins. As I … Continue reading Shopping for coffin decorations – how TradeMe helped us visualise colonial funerals

Beautiful Death – coffin decorations in colonial NZ

Today's blog post comes from Dr. Peter Petchey, our excavation co-director and expert historical archaeologist. Here he tells us about the Victorian penchant for making death beautiful, and what coffin decorations can tell us about the past. It is trite but true that the dead don’t bury themselves. Even if the deceased left instructions, it … Continue reading Beautiful Death – coffin decorations in colonial NZ

Fun with archaeological maps!

Today's blog comes from Alana Kelly, one of our archaeological volunteers on site, who more-often-than-not was given the job of mapping in the features we found. Today she tells us all about how our archaeological maps were drawn and why they're important! An important part of any archaeological excavation is recording and mapping. While most … Continue reading Fun with archaeological maps!

Filling in the gaps – Dental care in colonial Milton

Dental care might not have been high on the list of priorities for the first European colonists to New Zealand, but it’s an important aspect of life experience. Gum or tooth infections and loss of teeth can have some serious health implications, and result in pain, changes to diet and need for care. Poor dental … Continue reading Filling in the gaps – Dental care in colonial Milton

Studying smoking in the past

Today's blog post comes from one of our Masters Students, Clare De Joux-Perry, who last year spent some time looking at the teeth of the people of Milton in search of evidence of their smoking habits... Our teeth are the only part of our skeletons that regularly interact with our surrounding environment. Every day they … Continue reading Studying smoking in the past

My volunteering experience at the Milton site: A descendant’s story

Today's blog comes from Kath Croy, a member of the TP60 committee, relative of at least ten of the early Milton residents interred in the little St Johns Burial Ground and most importantly for us 'camp mum' of the St. John's excavations. Kath Croy (photo used with Kath's permission) I am a great great granddaughter … Continue reading My volunteering experience at the Milton site: A descendant’s story