Welcome to the first article of Artefact of the Month! This section of our website is dedicated to the work performed by the Cultural and Heritage Management Team, whom, amongst other tasks, spend time excavating, analysing, researching, and producing replicas of Taungurung artefacts. This segment is presented by Francisco Almeida, a trained archaeologist and the Cultural Heritage Program Manager for TCAC.
Artefact of the Month
As this is the first article for this segment, we will present not one, but four Taungurung artefacts!
These artefacts, pictured above were brought to the office by Amanda McClaren, Mayor of the Strathbogie Shire, and were originally found by her husband while he worked on their farm located in the Graytown vicinity. The Shire is very keen to collaborate with Taungurung in the management and protection of cultural heritage, and Amanda was eager to know how these artefacts, that she had carefully placed inside an ornate wooden box, should be managed.
The artefacts are extremely beautiful examples of traditional Taungurung craftsmanship:
One fragment of a ground stone axe made on a yet unidentified greenish stone, showing an extremely thin cutting edge, extremely rare in Victoria;
A scraper/scaled piece made on European glass;
A side scraper made on a basalt flake;
And another fragment of a beautiful ground stone axe showing quite a large working/cutting edge.
We informed Amanda of the general preference of Taungurung members for the artefacts to be kept as close as possible to their original location, within the same area where Taungurung Ancestors left them. Given the rarity of some of these artefacts and their specific characteristics, however, we asked if it would be possible for us to undertake silicone casts of all four artefacts, so replicas could be used by Taungurung for educational and exhibition purposes. Amanda promptly agreed.
Using the methodology taught to us by Pedro Serra during the October Replicas workshops, we produced a silicone cast for each of the artefacts…
Two weeks after meeting with Amanda, we have the first replicas already finished. Satisfied the replicas can now suffice for educational purposes, we returned the artefacts to the place where they were originally found.
Can you spot the difference