The Quarantine Project: Stories from the Sandstone

Scholars Quarantined at the History, Heritage, Place Quarantine Conference

Scholars Quarantined Across 14–16 August 2014, over 70 scholars were isolated at Sydney’s Q Station Manly to discuss the history, heritage, archaeology and geography of quarantine.

Convened by the Quarantine Project, this important conference connected the global with the local, the past with the present, and the material with the immaterial traces of quarantine.

Read More @ Sydney University's Quarantine Conference Website

Quarantine Conference: History, Heritage, Place - 14th, 15th & 16th August 2014

TQP-QurantineStationAn international conference convened by historians, archaeologists and heritage scholars from the University of Sydney.

Being held at Q Station, Sydney Harbour National Park - Manly also known as the former North Head Quarantine Station in Sydney's Northern Beaches on the 14th, 15th & 16th August 2014.

Registration required, hotel accommodation can be booked on site.

Read More @ Sydney University's Quarantine Conference Website

Innovative photographic technique reveals hidden detail in historic inscriptions

Innovative photographic technique reveals hidden detail in historic inscriptions A central aim of the Quarantine Project is to develop a detailed inventory of all known historic inscriptions at the North Head Quarantine Station.

In order to document this unique heritage archive as comprehensively as possible, we have enlisted a number of recording techniques including mapping, photography, drawing, 3-D laser scanning and tracing. In addition to the more conventional methods of daylight photography, we have recently trialled a technique called polynomial texture mapping (PTM).

Researchers Pam Forbes and Greg Jackson joined the field team specifically for this recording exercise and spent 6 sunrises and sunsets recording as many inscriptions as possible using their specially developed equipment.

Read More @ Sydney University's The Quarantine Project Website

ABC TV 7.30 - Stories set in stone reveal gems from the past

A picturesque spot in Sydney is home to some stories literally set in stone and they are delighting archaeologists, historians and tourists alike with what they reveal.

As reported on ABC TV's The 730 Report by Tracy Bowden.

Read the transcript @

University of Sydney archaeologists study engravings at Quarantine Station, Manly

University of Sydney archaeologists study engravings at Quarantine Station, Manly Archaeologists are studying engravings around North Head as part of multidisciplinary research aimed at learning more about Australia’s migration history.

The Sydney University project exploring Quarantine Station, used from 1835 to 1984 to quarantine ­migrants suspected of carrying disease, is taking a novel approach in bringing ­archaeologists and historians together to share ­analysis.

Read More @ The Manly Daily Website

Faith, Fortune & Competing Calendars: Translating Inscriptions

TQP-Yuhanna Abi Khalil Between “In the month of Baramhāt, in the year 1315” and “early summer of the year of Ding Si”, dating some of the inscriptions scattered across the Quarantine Station can prove challenging.

In fact, the site is home to over a hundred inscriptions written in languages other than English, with further messages employing scripts which suggest that English was an acquired language for the writer.

Read More @ Sydney University's The Quarantine Project Website

Chinese scholars travel into quarantine history

Chinese scholars travel into quarantine history Recently, the Quarantine Project team were honoured to host a visiting group of historians from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In building links between Chinese and local scholars, the Australian Academy of the Humanities (AAH) proposed a visit to the Quarantine Station to explore historic aspects of Chinese immigration, travel and maritime trade. As a Fellow of the AAH, Professor Alison Bashford escorted the delegation around the site, highlighting Chinese messages painted and carved into the sandstone. The delegates were grateful for this opportunity to read these poignant, and sometimes pointed, responses to quarantine during an era of blatant discrimination against 'Asiatic' people. Their responses have added further impetus the the project's mission to translate and elaborate the significant Chinese history across the Q Station site.

Read More @ Sydney University's The Quarantine Project Website

Rounding Out The 2013 Field Season

TQP-Nevo The archaeology team recently completed the 2013 field season at Q Station Manly.

Aided by survey documentation made by archaeologist Wendy Thorp in 1983, the team spent several months recording inscriptions at five sites around the Wharf precinct of Spring Cove. The work involved relocating hundreds of historic inscriptions and thoroughly documenting their current condition. This process involved several different techniques. To begin with we made extensive notes about each of the inscriptions we located. This includes, for example, a description of the inscription’s content, such as names and dates. We also identified how we think the inscription was made, as well as certain stylistic features such as whether the inscription has a border, or includes a motif like a flag. In time this level of detail will allow us to distinguish if there are patterns in the inscription assemblage that tell us more about why they were made and what their makers sought to communicate.

Already we have begun to see that there were certain conventions in the kind of information people chose to convey as well as consistencies in the way that information was composed.

Read More @ Sydney University's The Quarantine Project Website

The History Channel's Coast Australia - Sydney: Botany Bay to North Head

Across the glittering waters of Sydney, Neil Oliver explores the network of fortification to protect ‘Fortress Sydney’, and discovers how close the city came to being taken in WW2. Xanthe Mallett learns how to make lime as the convicts did, in her quest to understand the importance of oysters in building the early colony. Tim Flannery reveals the geological secrets of the city’s vast and sprawling harbour and unlocks the riddle of the rivers that had Captain Philip baffled in 1788. Brendan Moar examines an international icon in engineering and design, and reveals the story of those who made the greatest sacrifice. Emma Johnston hunts for tropical fish in Sydney’s temperate and diverse harbour.

View this preview of the Quarantine Station portion of Coast Australia.

Carved Marriage Proposal Found at Quarantine Station

TQP-Marriage-Proposal Archaeologists are known for discovering tombs, pyramids, paintings and gold treasures, but now two researchers report the discovery of something rather different, and newer — a marriage proposal, carved in stone.

Etched in large letters on a sandstone outcrop just south of a decommissioned quarantine station in Manly, Australia (a suburb of Sydney), it reads: "Rebecca will you marry me? Tim."

Read More @ Live Science

Secrets of the sandstone unveiled at Quarantine Community Day

TQP-Family-Fun-DayUniversity of Sydney archaeologist Dr Annie Clarke will shed light on the enigmatic sandstone inscriptions at Sydney's former Quarantine Station as part of the Family Fun Day at Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park - Manly this Sunday 22nd September.

In three separate talks, Dr Clarke will draw upon her Australian Research Council-funded project at the site to expose a fascinating picture of Australia's multicultural past, as revealed in the carvings along the cliff face. This work is part of a University-industry linkage project in partnership with the Mawland Group, who operate the site as the Q Station boutique hotel.

Read More @ Sydney University's The Quarantine Project Website