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Australian discovery of indigenous artefacts threatened by construction work

Ian Harvey

Mostly it is believed that the archaeological findings are simply discovered and then transported for analysis in labs, and later kept in a safe place in some museum, and that’s all there is to it. However every archaeological discovery has a story to tell in terms of challenges researchers have to face while fighting the system to make it happen. The opposition and challenges could come from a number of places such as the landowners who deny archaeologists to dig and unearth the artefacts. Sometimes local people resist allowing foreigners sifting through their sacred places, and then there are wars and conflicts. Having said all that, archaeologists are determined people and with an aim to further human knowledge they push their way in as sturdily as possible.

 

Source:tocomwall

Source:tocomwall

Archaeologists and the local community are now calling the construction work on a rail line to be halted in Sydney after thousands of indigenous artefacts were discovered at the site. There is now a sort of a battle between those who would like to see these sites preserved and those who tenaciously put forward the case of progress and urban development. The total number of artefacts discovered from the site now reaches the upwards of 20,000, but the $2.1 billion rail road project over the site is now threatening the indigenous site and other possible discoveries.

 

The artefacts include a large collection of spearheads and some other ancient cutting tools used by the indigenous people of the Island. A first of a kind discovery- since these relics have never been discovered elsewhere in Australia- activists are now calling for the rail project to be halted so that the preservation of the site could be made possible.

 

Source:tocomwall

Source:tocomwall

Scott Franks who is the director of archaeological consultants Toconwall has become the face of the resistance with his open support for the cause mostly lead by the Aboriginal groups. Mr Franks is robust in his argument against the government’s heartless policies regarding the historic site and is calling for the construction work at the rail project to be stopped. Mr Franks says that the discovery is significant on a variety of levels as the artefacts found at the site have never been discovered elsewhere in the region and further study and research is required. He added that a detailed excavation of the area is needed to unearth other possible relics belonging to the indigenous people’s rich culture and tradition.

Source:tocomwall

Source:tocomwall

Franks’ criticism has been picked up by many international outlets and a number of other groups have joined hands to support the cause. NSW Green MP David Shoebridge is also supporting the move to stop the construction work and help archaeologists to further the understanding of the local culture.

Mr Franks said that if this was London, Paris or Athens and such amazing discoveries were made in those cities, surely the construction work would have stopped, but under Mike Baird the bulldozers are constantly working and destroying the site, this is criminal and is equivalent to modern day genocide of the indigenous heritage.