Principle: Department Transport and Main Roads
Project Location: Beaudesert
Completion Date: February 2016
Project Scope: Investigate Beaudesert Bypass site for Aboriginal Artefacts
Challenges: Turnstone Archaeology recently conducted a cultural heritage survey in Beaudesert on behalf of The Department of Transport and Main Roads. Aussie HydroVac Services provided a support role, assisting with excavating and sorting of important artefacts. Beau-desert (beautiful desert) was settled by sheep and cotton farmers around 1840 but the land was first occupied by indigenous people. The site surveyed was identified as a High Activity area around a lagoon and was a known hunting area for the Mununjali. It was also the location of the original homestead which included a farm and halfway house. The challenge was to take great care whilst endeavouring to cover the whole area within a limited time frame as all work had to be completed prior to developments taking place. We also needed to be respectful of the local Mununjali people, to cooperate with and support their field representatives.
Equipment Used: This work was completed using a water cart and an excavator
Highlights: Works were completed in February. The excavations identified an Aboriginal campsite potentially 4000 years old and recovered historical artefacts associated with the former Beaudesert Homestead (c 1842-1860s) and the historic Beaudesert Tramway built in 1904 and closed in 1944. This resulted in a very successful outcome for a potentially difficult project and has cemented an excellent working relationship between Aussie HydroVac Services and Turnstone Archaeology. The relationship between the Mununjali people and field staff also proved to be rewarding with a good outcome for all involved with this project.