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Drysdale kids amazing dig

17 October, 2018Drysdale Bypass


Tools used for hunting, cutting and scraping were just some of the unique Aboriginal artefacts found by 500 students from four schools in Drysdale.

The once-in-a-lifetime excursion was offered to local schools after cultural heritage recovery work for the Drysdale Bypass project discovered the sandy rise at the top of Andersons Road was full of unique Aboriginal artefacts.

One student summed up the excitement, saying, “Being the first person to touch these artefacts in 9000 years is just, wow.”

In addition to searching for Aboriginal artefacts in a pit with an archaeologist, the cultural heritage excursion included Aboriginal storytelling with Wadawurrung elder, Uncle Bryon Powell, and an overview of the Drysdale Bypass project.

MRPA Project Director Tim Price said, “By completing cultural heritage recovery work, we can respectfully, sensitively and temporarily remove Aboriginal artefacts from country.”

“Through the discovery of artefacts, the Wadawurrung people can piece together their history and understand the ways in which their people used the land,” Mr Price said.

The 21,000 artefacts found so far include:

  • tools (used for hunting, cutting and scraping)
  • hearths (remnants of campfires including charcoal and ash)
  • middens (the remains of meals shared between Aboriginal people, represented as shell deposits, often from sea life).

Wadawurrung elder, Uncle Bryon Powell said that this is something that hasn’t been done before.

“By getting school kids involved, it means that they can get a bit more history about this land that they now call home,” Uncle Bryon said.

Work on the Drysdale Bypass started in October 2018.

For more information, visit the Drysdale Bypass project page.

Watch the video.

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