Aims, Objectives, and Outcomes

Exploring the Archaeology of the Modern City Sydney 1788–1900 has two major aims, which are related. First, to contribute to the creation of social histories of Sydney and Melbourne which are based on a meaningful integration of archaeological and historical information drawn from assemblages held in the collections of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW (HHT) and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA), and the historical records of NSW. Second, to analyse these sites and their historical documents to allow HHT, SHFA, NSW Heritage Office and Heritage Victoria to sustain their corporate goals of interpreting these materials in museums exhibitions and in their teaching and public programs, thus more effectively communicating the importance of preserving and conserving the heritage of each state by demonstrating its significance and value to citizens and visitors.

The objective of Managing the Archaeology of Central Sydney and Melbourne 1788–1900 is to undertake detailed research into international best-practice in managing the archaeology of major urban centres and revise and rethink the archaeological management plans for the Central Activities Districts of Melbourne and Sydney.


The following specific outcomes have already been achieved for both projects:

  1. The training of a postgraduate student in cutting-edge urban heritage management methodology. Dr Nadia Iacono has completed a detailed analysis of the management of archaeological resources in Sydney and Melbourne, titled Managing the Archaeology of Central Sydney and Melbourne 1788–1900 (2005).
  2. Assessment of the collections and documentary resources of the Hyde Park Barracks, The Mint, First Government House, Cumberland and Gloucester Streets site, Lilyvale, Susannah Place and Paddy's Market (see publications by the EAMC team.
  3. Detailed studies of select assemblages and documentary evidence from the Cumberland and Gloucester Streets site, First Government House and the Hyde Park Barracks (see publications).
  4. Development of databases for storing archaeological and documentary data.
  5. Establishment of the Archaeology of the Modern City Series, published by the Historic Houses Trust, to ensure the results of the project are distributed as widely as possible (see publications).
  6. We are currently completing a synthetic study of the archaeology of the 19th Century migration to Australia based on our work in the Rocks. This is titled In Search of the McNamaras and is to be published by Springer, New York City.