The small town of Marulan, roughly midway between Sydney and Canberra, came into being during the construction of the Great South Road in 1833, while the non-arrival of the railway in 1865 meant its rapid death, and it now only exists as a tightly-dated archaeological landscape.  Investigations at the site of the town's main building - the Woolpack Inn, one of three pubs in town - provided a significant archaeological assemblage from which to look at broader questions about the centrality of alcohol and drinking in the construction of social, community and economic relationships in 19th century Australia.  Marulan is also blessed with a unique documentary record, which helps us to ask deeper questions about the archaeology and the social practices behind its creation.

As archaeologists we spend lots of time counting and classifying bottles and broken glass, but to questionable benefit because our understanding of how this connects to behaviours is generally limited.  The work at Marulan aims for the first time to describe the social environment of alcohol in this period at a fine-grained level using a nuanced analysis of historical and archaeological evidence, and to broaden the view that archaeologists see through their beer goggles.

About the Presenter

Denis Gojak has been the Senior Heritage Specialist at Transport for NSW since 2009, leading a team who provide specialist support across all areas of transport infrastructure and development.  By training he is an archaeologist, having graduated from Sydney University in 1972, and worked since then as a heritage practitioner in consultancy and in state agencies, with a focus on Australian colonial archaeology and history.


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.


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