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    NAW Webinar and ASHA Seminar Series 2024 - Characterising Mine Wastes as Archaeological Landscapes

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    Event description

    A free online seminar hosted by the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology (ASHA) as part of the 2024 National Webinar Series, presented in partnership with National Archaeology Week 2024

    ASHA's second 2024 online seminar will be during National Archaeology Week (NAW) 2024. The seminar will be on Characterising Mine Wastes as Archaeological Landscapes, presented by Professor Susan Lawrence on Monday 20 May 2024. The seminar will start at 6pm AEST/ 4pm AWST / 5.30pm ACST / 8pm NZDT.

    The seminar will run for 45 to 50 minutes, followed by a Q&A session. All bookings will be through Humanitix (link is below). A Zoom link will be sent to your registered email address closer to the date of the event.  We look forward to seeing you – virtually!

    Characterising Mine Wastes as Archaeological Landscapes

    Professor Susan Lawrence

    Industrial-scale metal mining has long been a feature of developing economies. Processing ores to recover minerals has generated large quantities of waste rock, tailings and contaminants. Mining-related deposits, along with associated soil and water geochemistry, river modifications and other environmental changes are a product of the nature, scale and intensity of past operations. These artefacts of historical mining create anthropogenic landscapes that extend far beyond individual sites due to the dispersal of mine waste by rivers and pose enduring threats to human and ecosystem health. Their presence and significance, however, is often overlooked by heritage and environmental managers.

    To be acknowledged as artefacts of the historical mining industry, landscape features must be identified and characterised with reference to the human activities that triggered their formation. This requires an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates anthropogenic landscape change at a regional scale. Archaeological, geomorphological and geochemical evidence are integrated to identify and analyse mining-related changes to the Loddon River valley in Victoria, Australia.

    Nineteenth-century gold mining caused extensive erosion of creeks and gullies and mobilised sediments that filled channels and spread over floodplains. In addition, tailings deposits concentrated arsenic at levels significantly above environmental background conditions. Recognising these legacies of historical mining is vital to understanding mining heritage and to managing healthy rivers, environments and communities.

    Professor Susan Lawrence - Short Bio

    Professor Susan Lawrence teaches archaeology at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Her expertise is in the archaeology of British colonialism, gender, urbanisation, and resource extraction. Susan is the author of over 90 peer-reviewed articles and chapters and seven books. Her monograph Sludge: Disaster on the Victorian Goldfields (Black Inc 2019), co-authored with Peter Davies, was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. She has been a member of the Heritage Council of Victoria’s Archaeology Advisory Committee, is a past-president of the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Society of Antiquaries of London.

    When: 6pm AEST / 4pm AWST / 5.30pm ACST / 8pm NZDT, Monday 20 May 2024

    Where: Online via Zoom

    ASHA event webpage: https://asha.org.au/event/naw-national-webinar-series-and-asha-seminar-series-2024-characterising-mine-wastes-as-archaeological-landscapes/


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