Australia: Town Marie Excavation (IFR)

Location: Ipswich QLD, Australia

Session Dates: June 16-July 13, 2024

Application Deadline: April 1, 2024

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Institute for Field Research (IFR), Everick Foundation

Project Director:
Dr. Serena Love & Dr. Benjamin Schoville

Project Description:

Help uncover industrial history in Ipswich, southeast Queensland, Australia. This 19th century site has never previously been excavated nor has any similar site been excavated in Australia. Our project seeks to reveal information pertaining to the socio-economic and industrial conditions present within this self-contained township, 1848-1880. Additionally, we want to learn more about the South Sea Islander and Aboriginal communities that were known labourers on the property and throughout the broader region of Queensland, Australia.

The remains of Town Marie are now located on a private cattle grazing property on the outskirts of Brisbane. Getting to the excavation area requires a short walk, including traversing up and down some moderate slopes and navigating a short creek crossing via a bridge. The site is situated on the banks of the Bremer River in Ipswich. The excavation season takes place during the Australian winter, meaning the mornings are chilly (0°-10°C/30-50°F) but warm up throughout the day (approx. 25°C/70°F). This field school provides insight into early Ipswich and Queensland industry and entrepreneurship. Town Marie boasts the remains of an industrial scale boiling down works. This intriguing industry rendered the fat from sheep and cow carcasses to produce tallow, which was included in many products such as soap and candles. As such, animal bone and charcoal are key find types, therefore zooarchaeology, archaeobotany and historical archaeology are specializations all participants will engage with. Participants will learn more about Australian cultural heritage management and learn about assessing the significance of enigmatic sites like Town Marie.

Period(s) of Occupation: 19th century

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Students are expected to stay the full length of the program.

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: None

Room and Board Arrangements:
All students will be staying in serviced hotel apartments in downtown Brisbane. Sleeping spaces will fit two single beds (2 students) per room. Apartments will have 2-3 sleeping spaces; therefore 4-6 students will be in each apartment. The apartment has a kitchen and students will be able to cook meals as needed within the apartment. Each apartment has laundry facilities (washing machine and dryer), so students can wash as required. Each apartment also has at least one bathroom (shower, sink and toilet). The apartment will be serviced weekly by hotel staff. Meals: Morning tea and lunch will be provided on the weekdays at the field school, but no other meals are included in the program fee. Students will be responsible for their own breakfasts and dinners, as well as lunches on the weekends. Downtown Brisbane has several dining/take away options and there are numerous grocery stores within easy walking distance from student accommodations. Students must inform Everick of any dietary requirements or allergies so the program can ensure snacks and lunch items at the field school are suitable for all participants.

Academic Credit:
8 semester (anticipated-TBC)

Contact Information:

Institute for Field Research

1855 Industrial Street, Unit 106

Los Angeles



United States

Phone: 4242091173

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