Seeds from the slums: archaeobotanical investigations at Mountain Street, Ultimo, Sydney, New South Wales

Fairbairn, Andrew (2007) Seeds from the slums: archaeobotanical investigations at Mountain Street, Ultimo, Sydney, New South Wales. Australian Archaeology, 64 64: 1-8.

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Author Fairbairn, Andrew
Title Seeds from the slums: archaeobotanical investigations at Mountain Street, Ultimo, Sydney, New South Wales
Journal name Australian Archaeology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0312-2417
Publication date 2007-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 64
Issue 64
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Place of publication Brisbane
Publisher Australian Archaeological Association
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
2101 Archaeology
Abstract Analysis of seeds from cesspits and other deposits excavated at Mountain Street, Ultimo, Sydney, provided insights into the diet, ethnicity and socio-economic status of the site's inhabitants. Sample composition was similar to seed finds from urban cesspit assemblages in both Australia and Europe, combining locally produced dietary 'staples' with occasional imports and even a collected wild plant. It is unlikely that the seed analysis provided a complete picture of the diet of the Mountain Street dwellers, but it suggests an Old World culinary tradition, incorporating fresh and preserved fruits. Ethnicity is often reflected in food choice, but it is difficult to know if the range of species identified at Mountain Street accurately reflects a population derived from Old World immigrants, or rather the food supply system of Sydney at the time. Difficulty in identifying some common seed types may also have distorted the picture of dietary breadth and thus ethnic identity. Imported and exotic items are not considered to show affluence, but rather the desire of the slum dwellers to eat some luxury items.
Keyword Germany
Plants
Housing
Pioneer settlement
Archaeology
Sydney: History
Colonialism
Food
Fruit
Poverty
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
2008 Higher Education Research Data Collection
 
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Created: Mon, 18 Feb 2008, 14:48:11 EST