Mapping Difference in the “Uniform” Workers’ Cottages of Maria Island, Tasmania

  • Pamela ChauvelEmail author
  • James L. Flexner


In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, company towns often provided housing for workers within a system of benevolent paternalism. This paper examines a set of workers’ cottages known as “the Twelve Apostles” on Maria Island, Tasmania. The archaeology reveals differences between the standardized, company-built houses, providing evidence that the residents’ responses often varied in ways that were not officially expected or sanctioned by the company. People individualized their houses in ways that reflect their everyday routines and rituals, and demonstrate how they made these houses into homes.


Maria Island Tasmania Household archaeology Capitalism Paternalism 



We would like to thank Janelle Bray, Kathleen Carmichael, Mikhaila Chaplin, Alison Fenwick, Rebekah Hawkins, and Simon Wyatt–Spratt for their fieldwork assistance, and Guy Hazel for GIS, photogrammetry and surveying advice. Thanks also to Parks and Wildlife Tasmania, particularly Pete Lingard and Peter Rigozzi, and to Maureen Ferris at the Glamorgan Spring Bay Historic Society. Funding support came from a Carlyle Greenwell Research Grant and the Tom Austen Brown Fund for Australasian Archaeology at the University of Sydney.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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