Under the Boards: The Study of Archaeological Site Formation Processes at the Commissariat Store Site, Brisbane

Murphy, Karen Jane (2003). Under the Boards: The Study of Archaeological Site Formation Processes at the Commissariat Store Site, Brisbane BA (Hons) Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

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Author Murphy, Karen Jane
Thesis Title Under the Boards: The Study of Archaeological Site Formation Processes at the Commissariat Store Site, Brisbane
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003-01-01
Thesis type BA (Hons) Thesis
Subjects 430101 History - Australian
430205 Historical Archaeology (incl. Industrial Archaeology)
Abstract/Summary The study of archaeological site formation processes, although commonly undertaken in prehistoric sites, is only carried out in historical archaeological sites in a limited way. Understanding the processes which formed the archaeological record of a site is an important first step towards developing justifiable inferences about past behaviour and past societies regardless of the age of the site. This thesis identifies and examines the cultural and noncultural processes that formed the archaeological record at the Commissariat Store, in Brisbane, Australia. The history of the site, from its construction in 1829 as part of the Moreton Bay penal settlement to the present, is examined and the expected impacts and processes on the archaeological record are identified. The archaeological evidence from the salvage excavation of the site undertaken in 1978/79 is analysed to identify the cultural and noncultural site formation processes. This study identified the presence of the cultural formation processes of discard, loss, abandonment and re-use from an examination of the historical and archaeological evidence. Non-cultural formation processes at work in the site include faunalturbation, floralturbation, flooding and aquaturbation. This research also identified deficiencies in Schiffer's model for identifying and categorising cultural formation processes. The activity of construction of the site's drainage system did not clearly fit within a single type of formation process. Water as a formation agent is only discussed in the literature as a non-cultural formation process, while at this site water can be seen as a cultural formation process. This thesis demonstrates the value and importance of understanding site formation processes as a firm basis for future interpretation of the archaeology of the Commissariat Store site.
Keyword historical
archaeology
site formation processes
commissariat store
Queensland
Brisbane
Australia

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - Open Access
 
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Created: Fri, 10 Jun 2005, 10:00:00 EST by Karen Jane Murphy