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The woolgar goldfield's industrial archaeology of capitalism 1879-1939

Taylor, Victor Jean

Description

The customary feature of historical mining sites in Far North tropical Queensland is one of ephemerality. Therefore, the chance to study the Woolgar, a frontier goldfield of similar characteristics to other minesites but with vestiges of industrial archaeology still in situ, was an opportunity not to be missed. Furthermore, the Woolgar's gold rush of 1880 later transpired to be the last in Australia's nomadic age as better financed mining companies with more sophisticated technology were able...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorTaylor, Victor Jean
dc.date.accessioned2016-11-28T01:27:44Z
dc.date.available2016-11-28T01:27:44Z
dc.date.copyright2015
dc.identifier.otherb3732689
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/110694
dc.description.abstractThe customary feature of historical mining sites in Far North tropical Queensland is one of ephemerality. Therefore, the chance to study the Woolgar, a frontier goldfield of similar characteristics to other minesites but with vestiges of industrial archaeology still in situ, was an opportunity not to be missed. Furthermore, the Woolgar's gold rush of 1880 later transpired to be the last in Australia's nomadic age as better financed mining companies with more sophisticated technology were able to handle the complex ores being mined at the deeper levels. Nonetheless, the end of the adventurous nomadic age is seen as Australia emerging from a mercantile economy to that of a self-governing capitalist society even though it was on the periphery of a World System regulated by an ongoing financial restriction. Such an exigent economic and technological environment required adoption of a postprocessual methodology with adaptable components of inquiry and analysis such as had previously been instrumental in deciphering the archaeology of other northern Queensland mine sites. Thus a variation on Giddens' theory of Structuration has been used as the analytical framework for the Woolgar. The industrial archaeologies of the goldfield that adapted the surrounding landscape and modifications in technology are the visualisations of Giddens' double hermeneutic of exponential agency that are also seen as the portals to past lifeways. The example of agency within Structuration's duality of structure highlights the unfolding processes of individuals, work groups and social collectives as 'being in the world'. More to the point, examples of agency framed within these motivating structures can only be considered if evidence of change is demonstrated in the archaeological record. Giddens' general classification of a site's Allocative and Authoritative Resources and appropriate judicious analogies produce premisses regarding the Woolgar's economic worldview and the outdated Cornish technological diffusion affecting the Woolgar's production. Past archaeological research of base metal mining operations have a ready source of historical economic material that provides both local and worldview backgrounds of a study. Gold on the other hand and contrary to its mystique has an opaque interpretive milieu requiring a more intensified research. Although gold transformed Australia's world stature, the analogy of recurring restrictive elements of the precious metal is seen as not boding well for future economic alliances. While this thesis applauds new directions in Historical and Industrial Archaeology it still echoes earlier calls to include the economic background to enhance technological studies that have been considered the gateway to past cultural lifeways since the middle of the last century. Nevertheless, this dissertation questions inappropriate analogies from other cultures such as the use of North American archaeological ceramic assemblages to analyse early Australian social mores. It additionally suggests that Australian culture does not need to look to the British Class System to analyse its frontier mining archaeology. Instead, this thesis advocates a postprocessualist humanistic approach to analysing the archaeology of Australia through the wider lens of Structuration.
dc.format.extentxviii, 276 leaves.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectmining
dc.subjectsites
dc.subjectQueensland
dc.subjectWoolgar
dc.subjectindustrial
dc.subjectarchaeology
dc.subjectAustralia
dc.titleThe woolgar goldfield's industrial archaeology of capitalism 1879-1939
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorSpriggs, Matthew
dcterms.valid2015
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2013
local.contributor.affiliationSchool of Archaeology and Anthropology
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d763658abb41
dc.date.updated2016-11-25T00:03:56Z
dc.description.tableofcontentsDisc 1: Beale, A (2006). Ceramic assemblages from the Woolgar, Queensland -- Disc 2: Crapp family hardware store's sales ledger -- Disc 3: Wilfley table in operation from John Forster OAM, ASM -- Disc 4: Pendleton, A.B. (2006). Glass assemblage from the Woolgar, Queensland -- Disc 5: copy of Thesis.
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