A rare archaeological find on view in Bendigo17 May 2012
Heritage Victoria and local archaeologists will re-open Bendigo's unique Chinese brick-making kiln during Archaeology Week, 21 – 23 May 2012.
In 2005 a remarkable gold rush relic was discovered in Thunder Street, Bendigo – the remains of a Chinese brick-making kiln, dating from 1857. An initial archaeological dig revealed an outline of the kiln’s size and shape and confirmed its Asian origins.
The archaeologist who undertook the work, Dr Don Hein, an expert in Asian kilns, was stunned at what he found - he knew of no other examples of such kilns anywhere in the world except China.
To preserve the kiln the remains were reburied and have now lain out of sight for the past seven years. But the public will have an opportunity to view the kiln when it is briefly exposed once more. The kiln is to be further investigated in order to gain a better understanding of how it operated and to establish how much of the kiln structure still survives.
On Tuesday 22 May from 1 – 4pm, a public event will be held at the site of the kiln excavation, hosted by Adam Ford and Dr Gary Hill. Visitors will be able to view the kiln and learn more about the Chinese heritage of the North Bendigo area which, as well as the kiln, includes a Joss House, Chinese camp, remnants of a market garden, and the many Chinese gravestones at White Hills cemetery.
The work will be undertaken by Heritage Victoria, together with local experts on Asian ceramics and kiln technology, Dr Gary Hill and Dennis O’Hoy, and independent archaeologist Adam Ford, host of the ABC series ‘Who’se Been Sleeping In My House?’
A video of the initial excavation, produced by Heritage Victoria, can be seen at Culture Victoria www.cv.vic.gov.au/stories/unearthing-a-19th-century-chinese-kiln.