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Men Behaving Badly? The Archaeology of the Digger's Lifestyle and Constructions of Masculinity at the Kiandra Goldrush, 1859-1861

Tybussek, Damian Craig

Description

This research provides the first in-depth archaeological study of a goldrush miners’ camp from the early 1850s and 1860s Australian Goldrushes in Victoria and New South Wales. Focussing on the Kiandra Goldfield, located in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, which was the scene of a major goldrush in 1859-1861, this research develops a picture of the nature of everyday life for the miners and businesspeople who participated in this event. It investigates...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorTybussek, Damian Craig
dc.date.accessioned2017-05-09T02:04:13Z
dc.date.available2017-05-09T02:04:13Z
dc.identifier.otherb4375157x
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/116832
dc.description.abstractThis research provides the first in-depth archaeological study of a goldrush miners’ camp from the early 1850s and 1860s Australian Goldrushes in Victoria and New South Wales. Focussing on the Kiandra Goldfield, located in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, which was the scene of a major goldrush in 1859-1861, this research develops a picture of the nature of everyday life for the miners and businesspeople who participated in this event. It investigates the historical and archaeological evidence from the Township Hill miners’ camp (KTH), which was the main miners’ camp during the rush, through the lens of gender in order to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the nature of goldrush social life. Specifically, as goldrushes were predominately male events, this research aims to bring the study of masculinity, which is a burgeoning field in Australian history, into the domain of Australian historical archaeology. The Township Hill miners’ camp, excavated between 2003 and 2004 by the former ANU archaeology fieldschool program, provides a unique opportunity to ascertain how men were behaving at this goldrush and how they were constructing and maintaining their masculine identities in this isolated and harsh environment. This research conducts a reanalysis of the ten excavated KTH huts and their artefact assemblages which demonstrates how the hut occupants behaved on a daily basis. Specifically, it utilises a distribution analysis and consideration of the proportions of items found within assemblages to demonstrate what cultural formation processes resulted in their deposition. Combining this data from the dominant artefact types within the assemblages allows a model of the waste management strategies used by hut occupants to be created. The nature of these strategies, as well as the functional natures of each hut assemblage, provides a wealth of data on the genders of hut occupants, as well as the gender identities they were attempting to cultivate. This research demonstrates that the Township Hill miners’ camp was predominately occupied by men, but featured a small population of women. The diggers who occupied the camp principally negotiated their masculine identities in reference to the ideal of the respectable digger, but they critically evaluated different characteristics of this ideal and adopted some at the expense of others. The small amount of evidence relating to female miners at the camp suggested that they too had complex feminine identities that could embrace respectability. Businesspeople on the other hand, negotiated their gender identities principally with respect to middle-class gentility and appear to have made concerted efforts through conspicuous consumption to differentiate themselves from miners and demonstrate their social standing. In all, this research has found that the diggers who formed the core population at the Kiandra Goldrush were not behaving badly, and instead, considered themselves to be respectable and participated diligently in these events to further their dreams of independence and successful manhood.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectgender archaeology
dc.subjectsocial archaeology
dc.subjectmining archaeology
dc.subjectmasculinity
dc.subjectcultural site formation processes
dc.subjectNew South Wales goldrushes
dc.subjectKiandra
dc.subjectNineteenth Century
dc.subjectAustralian historical archaeology
dc.titleMen Behaving Badly? The Archaeology of the Digger's Lifestyle and Constructions of Masculinity at the Kiandra Goldrush, 1859-1861
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorFarrington, Ian
local.contributor.supervisorcontacttawantinsuyu@optusnet.com.au
dcterms.valid2017
local.description.notesThe author deposited 8/05/17
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2015
local.contributor.affiliationSchool of Archaeology and Anthropology, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d74e0b01aa18
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

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