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artefacts discovered under the floorboards
of houses belonging to people who lived
in the Cumberland Street neighbourhood
during the 1800s. Years 7 to 10 students
explore what archaeologist Stuart Piggot
once called 'the science of rubbish' in the
'Cesspits and Old Rubbish' program by
looking at artefacts recovered from wells,
dunnies, cisterns, cellars and backyards.
Their investigation will consider whether
The Rocks really was a 'dirty slum' during
the late-19th Century.
'Groundwork: Archaeology at The Big
Dig' offers Year 11 Ancient History stu-
dents a unique opportunity to work on an
authentic dig site to study the methods used
by historians and archaeologists to investi-
gate, record, reconstruct and interpret the
past. Students will work with artefacts asso-
ciated with some of the people who lived
and worked in The Rocks during the 19th
Century. They'll also consider the ethical
issues involved in the excavation, conserva-
tion, interpretation and presentation of this
site to the public. There are plans to have a
'Dig for a Day' excavation program operat-
ing outdoors for seniors in another part of
the site by 2012.
The Big Dig Archaeology Education
Centre offers students a unique opportunity
to get out of the classroom and work like
archaeologists on the only authentic archae-
ological dig in Australia that has been con-
served and interpreted for the public.
Since students who will use the Education
Centre won't necessarily be local, the Sydney
Harbour youth hostel realised it was impor-
tant to provide hostel accommodation, in this
case for up to 38 students. Students staying
here can also take advantage of The Rocks
Discovery Museum, Sydney Observatory
and Susannah Place Museum, with advice on
further activities through the newly formed
Rocks Education Network. T
Louise Zar mati is a lecturer in History
Educ ation at Macquarie University. She
has worked as an archaeologist and his-
tory teacher, w ritten articles and text-
books on archaeology and is the education
consultant for The Big Dig Archaeology
Educ ation Centre at The Rocks.
Alison Frappell is Education and Inte rpre-
tation Officer for The Big Dig, and is devel-
oping the centre's education al presence in
Sydney. She has a background in he ritage,
museums, theatre and project m anagement.
Pictured: page 10, students looking at
something 'really, really old'; opposite
page, The Big Dig Archaeology Educ ation
Centre and archaeologic al site with, inset,
Carahers Lane, off Cumbe rland Street.
Pictures courtesy of Sydney Harbour
Youth Hostel Association.
Hudson, J. & Fiv ush, R. (1991). As time
goes by: Sixth graders reme mber a kin-
dergarte n expe rience. Applied Cognitive
Psychology. 5(4): 347- 60.
For more inform ation on The Big Dig
Archaeology Education Ce ntre, contact
Alison Frappell by phone on 02 9261
1111, e mail sydharbourgroups@yhansw.
org.au or visit www.thebigdig.com.au
For more information on the education
courses referred to in this article presented
by Sydney Learning Adventures, phone 02
9240 8552 or visit ww w.shfa .nsw.gov.au
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