Chinese Whispers: Visiting a Chinese Camp (Part 2).

Today Les and Maisie Wong continue their trip back in time to the Lawrence Chinese Camp, bringing to life the stories of the Chinese on the goldfields... Sleeping in the loft was not without its problems. Apart from being unfamiliar with sleeping on bales of straw there was the continuous disturbance of rodents, but this … Continue reading Chinese Whispers: Visiting a Chinese Camp (Part 2).

Chinese Whispers: Visiting a Chinese Camp

Continuing our exploration of life on the goldfields for the Chinese, today our collaborators Les and Maisie Wong take us on a trip into the Chinese Camps of the past... ** note that in this tale Les and Maisie have transliterated directly from spoken Chinese, in which there are no linking words, plurals, past or … Continue reading Chinese Whispers: Visiting a Chinese Camp

Telling the stories of our settlers, one by one.

This week we have exciting news, one of our first settler stories has been accepted for publication in the academic journal "Bioarchaeology International". It'll be published online in the next couple of weeks but for those who just can't wait - this week's article is our short, snappy summary of the study. Burial 21 is … Continue reading Telling the stories of our settlers, one by one.

Chinese whispers: The lure of gold during the 1800s

Today's post is the start of our 'Chinese Whispers' series giving insight into the life of the Chinese in Otago, written by Les and Maisie Wong from the Otago and Southland Chinese Association. Les and Maisie, as representatives of descendants of the Chinese goldminers, are sources of massive amounts of genealogical, cultural and historical knowledge. … Continue reading Chinese whispers: The lure of gold during the 1800s

Victorian diagnoses – medical complexities and vagueries

Seven medical conditions humourously illustrated. Reproduction of an etching. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY One of the advantages of working on archaeology from the colonial period is that we have historical records that help us to interpret what we're seeing in the bones, teeth and artefacts associated with people. Some of the most useful things for those … Continue reading Victorian diagnoses – medical complexities and vagueries

Miasmas in Milton – a colony beset by respiratory diseases

'there is always a damp vapour arising [in Tokomairiro], highly prejudicial to the health of the inmates, and especially the children’ Francis MacBean Stewart (1875) Milton in the 1870s was not the healthiest place to be. Dr. Frances MacBean Stewart the local medical officer of Health can be found deploring the high death rates in … Continue reading Miasmas in Milton – a colony beset by respiratory diseases

The New Zealand Exploding Trousers Epidemic

Full disclosure: this blog post isn't really to do with our cemeteries project ... in fact it's outside of the time period we're interested in, but when I came across it in my research I couldn't resist sharing. In the early 1900s, rural New Zealand was beset by an exploding trousers problem. You heard that … Continue reading The New Zealand Exploding Trousers Epidemic