Jones Lane Historical Archaeology

Earlier this year archaeologists from Dr Vincent Clark & Associates excavated a row of six cottages next to the Wesley Church on Lonsdale Street, and in the process uncovered a slice of Melbourne’s early colonial history.

MMBW 1895 map overlaid on a c.1857 plan of Melbourne showing structures next to the manse which were excavated

MMBW 1895 map overlaid on a c.1857 plan of Melbourne, showing structures next to the manse which were excavated

The residences, located along Jones Lane (previously Green Lane), provided a unique opportunity to investigate early residential living in Melbourne. Stage 2 of the Jones Lane excavations commences today and we are excited to be getting back into it.

The Jones Lane Stage 1 excavations uncovered an alignment of six cottages with bluestone, sandstone and brick walls, fireplaces and subfloor cellars. A brick paved veranda running along the eastern face of the cottages was exposed, as well brick lined drains extending from the paving towards the water closets along Jones Lane. During the excavation of one of the cellar floors, the remains of a bluestone wall pre-dating the cottage structure were uncovered. It is likely the bluestone walls relates to a very early structure illustrated on the c1857 Bibbs map of Melbourne.

A large amount of artefacts were collected from the excavations, including a variety of ceramics and glass, and specific personal items such as clay pipes, dress maker pins, buttons, jewellery and shoes. The material collected is predominately dated to the mid to late 19th century and will provide a valuable insight into the occupation of the area.

 

The Stage 1 excavations attracted some media attention, so you can find out more about the excavations from the links below:

Nine News Story:  http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/03/12/20/37/archaeologists-uncover-melbourne-treasure-trove

Herald Sun article:  http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/treasures-unearthed-dig-reveals-early-melbourne-artefacts/news-story/68b47476d9dc20572d25f3fec08fd1ba

ABC radio interview with Jeremy Smith from Heritage Victoria:  http://www.abc.net.au/radio/melbourne/programs/saturdaybreakfast/unearthed-treasures/8386322