Community Open Day: Saturday, June 10, 2006
Free Guided Tours of Archeological Dig Site
Monday June 5 2006
A community Open Day at the archaeological dig on the site of the new Arts, Conference and Entertainment Centre will give members of the public the chance to inspect the remains of our earliest penal settlements including two overseas cottages and the site of the first School of the Arts
Mr Edward Higinbotham, from Edward Higginbotham & Associates is the senior archaeologist on the dig and will be conducting guided tours of the site as part of the Open Day.
"The dig so far has been quite dramatic. We have found an incredible number of fascinating structures and artefacts including two of the five Overseer Cottages from the original penal settlement" said Mr Higinbotham.
Ten professional archaeologists and twenty local volunteers have been involved in the painstaking manual excavation of the site, which has involved cleaning, photographing, planning and recording each layer of excavation. This process is expected to take five weeks and is currently at the half way point.
The plans of the new ACE Centre have provision to conserve elements of the archaeological features found during the dig. Artefacts will be reconstructed, interpreted and put on display in several conservation and display areas in the centre.
"It has been a great experience," said Dr Higginbotham. "You almost expect to turn around and see a group of convicts walk by."
The Open Day will be held on Saturday 10 June 2006 from 10.00am until 2.00pm at the ACE Centre site on the corner of Clarence & Hay Streets, Port Macquarie.