A Brief Moment
what historical events might have happened right
here, in this very spot, hundreds of years ago?
Or who might have lived and died here?
Perhaps it was
the recent archeological dig at the Kelly
siege site in historical Glenrowan
that set my curiosity buzzing. Or maybe its
because I am a regular devotee of the wonderful Time
Team program on ABC TV. (For those of you
not familiar with this gem, it is a series in
which a motley bunch of archeologists,
anthropologists and other dirt-scraping-ologists
come together to conduct super-quick
archeological digs all over Britain).
In any case,
whatever has triggered it off, I have become
rather enamoured with the idea of uncovering
something of historical significance under the
ground. I know its not terribly likely that
I would find evidence of European settlement
dating back more than a couple of hundred years
here in Australia, but any artifacts pointing to
human existence would suffice; Im not a
fussy little digger.
And so it was
with this in mind that I was all atremble last
weekend upon the surprise unearthing of an
interesting looking find in my own
back yard. While digging a small trench alongside
the driveway, my shovel clunked against something
rather solid. I gently pushed it upwards until it
finally released and plopped into the garden.
glance I thought it was just a rock but closer
inspection revealed it was, in fact, an old piece
of pottery. An early settlers cooking
vessel? I mused. Or perhaps an earthenware jug
from a convict settlement?
acquisition under the tap, my mind rushed forward
to my glorious subsequent unearthing of the
entire jug followed by a sacred burial site, a
Roman aqueduct, a Paleolithic flint tool and the
footings of a medieval castle.
I had visions
of Time Team descending on my home;
geophys scouring every inch of my
land with their mysterious devices; carbon daters
dating; historians pouring over tithe
maps and scruffy looking gents in khaki
jumpers with leather elbows arguing about the
possible meaning of charcoal deposits under my
clothesline. (I wouldnt, of course, have
the heart to tell them it was just the remains of
a little misadventure with the BBQ).
I checked my
fertile imagination and told myself my find was
probably nothing to get too excited about.
Although, even if it didnt date quite as
far back to warrant the Time Team's
attention, I was at least sure I had found
something of historical and practical virtue
belonging to the old lady who lived in the house
before us (i.e. probably a casserole dish). And
even this gave me a buzz because the lady was
pretty old which probably dated the casserole
dish as circa 1966 or thereabouts a
veritable antique by todays standards.
waited anxiously for the spouse to come home so I
could show off my find. To my dismay he snorted
when he saw it.
a bit of sewerage pipe, he announced,
matter-of-factly dropping my treasure into the
wheelie bin. Circa
And with that,
my moment of archeological glory much like
my less-than-fascinating find