The Archaeology of Water on the Victorian Goldfields

Abstract

Water played a crucial role in gold mining in the Australian colony of Victoria during the nineteenth century. Recent archaeological research has identified extensive surviving evidence of water supply networks, industrial applications of water and downstream pollution. The integration of this physical evidence with Google Earth, LiDAR imagery and historical maps in GIS reveals how the use of water in mining continues to shape modern landscapes.

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Acknowledgments

This paper was prepared as part of a larger project funded by the Australian Research Council, ‘Cultural Landscapes of Colonial Water Management in Victoria’s Central Highlands’ (DP11010437), conducted in the Department of Archaeology and History at La Trobe University. We are grateful to individuals and organisations who have supported our research including Don Henderson (Shire of Hepburn); Kevin Tolhurst, Leon Bren and Ian Rutherfurd (University of Melbourne); Public Records Office Victoria and Heritage Victoria.

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Correspondence to Peter Davies.

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Lawrence, S., Davies, P. & Turnbull, J. The Archaeology of Water on the Victorian Goldfields. Int J Histor Archaeol 21, 49–65 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-016-0330-0

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Keywords

  • Gold mining
  • Landscape
  • Industrial archaeology
  • Water
  • Anthropocene