Local students get up close to ancient artefacts at archaeological diG

Students from Moruya High School were provided special access to the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital site, visiting on Tuesday 9 May to learn about the archaeological dig currently underway.

The students met with Ashleigh Keevers-Eastman, archaeologist and Senior Heritage Consultant, who explained the process undertaken by the archaeologists, traditional owners and knowledge holders to identify artefacts.

They were shown a range of small items that had been unearthed during the dig including sharpened silcrete, chert and quartz as well as flakes, cores, and tools.

Year 9 student, Crystal Heycox-Butler said seeing the artefacts first-hand made her think more about her cultural connection to the area and its history.

"I thought it was interesting seeing what they dug up. There was so much. I was amazed at how many people were cleaning and sorting the artefacts.” Crystal said.

“Being on site - it made me feel important and how important my culture is. Before I did the dig, I didn't feel very interested in going but then when I was onsite, I realised how important it was in a historical sense.”

Crystal was also surprised to see so many women involved in the archaeological work.

“I was surprised that the archaeologist was a woman and not a man. I thought that there wouldn't be many female archaeologists,” she said.

Year 7 student Sky Heycox-Butler said it was interesting to see how the items were collected, stored, and catalogued.

"I liked how we got to see some of the artefacts in all the little bags that were labelled and dated,” Sky said.

“In the future I would like to become an archaeologist because I like looking at all the little different types of rocks and stones; and being involved with the Earth.” 

Walbunja Elder Uncle Bunja Smith greeted the students when they arrived on site with a traditional Welcome to Country.

Bunja spoke about the many employment opportunities that would be on offer at the new hospital once it was built, and encouraged the students to start thinking about what type of work they might like to do after school.

Students and teachers said it was good to hear about the future employment opportunities for young people and the range of different types of jobs that would be available at the new hospital.

To find out more about artefacts uncovered as part of the archaeological work underway on the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital site, visit https://www.eurobodallahs.health.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/latest-news/2023/aboriginal-community-shares-knowledge-on-artefacts-uncovered-on-site