And we (divide) sub divided the area into the series of landscape units.
And in the documentation stage and analysis, we found old maps and plans of the area, which often had landscape descriptions in it, such as well grassed, open forest.
As in here, apart from the paintings, we had written descriptions of parts of the landscape. And other historical information came from diaries, local history books, and records, such as the governor of the colony of New South Wales, a man by the name of Mcquarrie. He traveled through this area in 1820. And he went through the park. Let’s look. And he described this area as we met a numerous herd, of about 400 herd of cattle belonging to Mr Wingecarribee, feeding in a fine rich meadow. The grounds are joining Mr Wingecarribee’s hunt, because that time he was living here, and starting to build his place, are extremely pretty, gentle hills and dales with an extensive rich valley in his front.
The whole having a very park like appearance, being very thinly wooded. There we’ve got the painting of it, it’s almost like having a photograph from the 1820s.
We’re very fortunate in Australia in having a lot of landscape paintings from this period. So you’re doing a landscape history study, you can refer to the paintings.
So these are the units. And, in some of the reading that we did, we came across records of wheat fields, because this in 1820s, Sydney was still developing, and wheat was grown here. And then censorship sent to Sydney by bullock cart. And there’s a record of these wheat fields. And there’s also a record of ploughing competitions in round about (I don’t know)1822, of these playing competitions. Now we know that back then, they use bullocks and single blade plows. They just go along ploughing. And what you got was what we call a thorough the blade dug into the ground and shut the soil to one side. So you got a pattern, a wavy pattern like this.
It’s called ridge and furrow plough, because that’s what happens. You plough along.
On one afternoon, the archaeologist and I were going home. It was a winter afternoon, the sun was shining, it was cold, the sun was low. And this archaeologist, I was in his car, and he always drove fast, I was always scared when I was with him. But we’re driving along this road, he slammed the brakes on. He said “Ken, there’s the weak field”. and here it is. We found it. Here is the ridge on foot for a plow mark. Now you might ask why they going uphill instead of across in a climate like Australia, where you can get flooding rains and droughts. because this technique originated in the iron age in Europe. They would plow up the hills.
So they get drainage. I don’t need it here. And there’s a saying in English is “Going up hill and down dale”. The dale is a valley, and down across. And all sorts of interesting little anecdotes like that in this landscape. But the interesting thing is when this landowner found out what we interpreted this site, he said, I’m not going to plow that feeling. He was on the verge of ripping it all up and resigning it with something else. And it would have destroyed all these. And he said “I’m not going to do that. I’m gonna keep it now because it’s an important piece of history.”
So we had 10 cultural landscape units. And from these
we delineated series what we thought was the most important, everything significant in here, there’s no doubt about it. It’s a significant historical area. We couldn’t call everything significant to that extent. So what we did was thinking about it, which are the units? Which best show the history of the making of this landscape? These are the units. This is where those plow marks are along here. And, Frosty Park is up in this area here. And so we delineated these, and we also delineated significant historic towns and villages, like this place here, very popular for people to retire into.
And you can see this is a photograph from the 1890s, and this is a photograph from the 1990s, and this building is still here. It is the link with the past. So we delineated a series of what we called historic cultural landscape units. And at the time, the local shire put a landscape conservation order on this area.
Now let me just for a conclusion,
if you’re ever involved in such an exercise as when you carry this study, it’s critical that the study method that you use reaches beyond being merely a visual approach, just saying what it looks like. Through research and through into this disciplinary teamwork, you need to look at the choice, the method to address the research question posed at the beginning of the chapter of this paper that I gave you, and an idea of what are the cultural and what’s the historic context of the area that you’re looking at,
also say the critical description study who is meetings with local people. We had meetings with local people in this area in which we asked them their opinions, their ideas for the future, so that we knew what they wanted or what they hoped for. In other words, we got them to participate in the study. The area still looks very much like this today. It was a reasonably successful piece of work. It was part of a much bigger piece of work. People looking at aboriginal history and the whole history of the Shire. It must be one of the best studied areas in the whole of New South Wales.
So there’s some background on what I meant by cultural landscape, meanings and values, and how you interpret them. And I hope that you get some benefit from listening to this talk and looking up at the slides. And, thank you, DR. Zhang for asking me to do it. Thank you.