Digging up Otago’s past


Those wanting to watch archaeologists uncover some of Otago’s past are invited to a public open day at Macraes Flat next week. 

Working on the former dairy shed are (anticlockwise from front left) Sheryl McPherson, Danielle Dyer, Lana Arun, Jessica Waterworth and Teri Anderson [Credit: Otago Daily Times]

Oceana Gold and the New Zealand Historic Places (NZHPT) are holding the archeological excavation open day at the pre-1900 Robinson farmstead complex, a collection of historic agricultural buildings. 

Those largely stone buildings, which include a house, forge, well and sheds, are to be removed to enable further mining at the adjacent Frasers open pit, Oceana Gold environmental projects co-ordinator Debbie Clarke said. 

Before the site is removed it will be documented by consultant archaeologists with assistance from students and staff from the University of Otago anthropology department, she said. 

Ms Clarke said it was “not a cheap process”. Work began on February 7 and was expected to be completed later this month. 

As part of the agreement with the NZHPT, Oceana Gold will hold a public open day between 1pm and 3.30pm on Tuesday, and earlier that morning for schools and community groups which have booked. 

Those interested in attending should follow the signs and park in the designated area. NZHPT staff will be on hand to guide people around the site.  

Author: Hamish McNeilly | Source: Otago Daily News [February 19, 2012]