Ravenswood is a small gold mining town within the Charters Towers Regional Shire, 89 km east of Charters Towers and 129 km south of Townsville, in North Queensland. The discovery of gold in the region in 1868 brought the town into existence, and waves of mining activity and technological development have occurred ever since, including to the present day. A proposal to expand open cut mining now presents challenges and opportunities for the conservation and management of the historic landscape, which includes remnant mills, mines and European and Chinese settlement areas.  This paper presents the management strategies that have been developed to mitigate the impacts on both the built heritage and archaeological record of the area, and the results of the recording and salvage program which has included the discovery and excavation of the town’s first cemetery.  Innovative approaches have been taken in recording the landscape through drone technology and in balancing the diverse pressures of heritage, economic development and the community.


About the Presenter

Dr Kevin Rains is an historical archaeologist and practitioner in the field of heritage planning and management.  He was awarded a PhD in archaeology from the University of Queensland in 2005, with the subject of his thesis being the overseas Chinese social landscape of early Cooktown in Far North Queensland.  He has worked for state and local government and private heritage consultancies, including leading the heritage unit of the City of Gold Coast for 10 years, and has had a long association with the University of Queensland as a guest lecturer for the historical archaeology and heritage management programs.  His research interests continue to include 19th century Chinese communities in Australia but he has also been heavily involved in projects looking at historic mining landscapes, sugar plantations, cemeteries, Australian South Sea Islander communities and post-WW1 urban development. His most recent venture has been with the consultancy firm, Niche Environment & Heritage, and managing the historic gold-mining landscape of Ravenswood. 

About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.