Expanding horizons in the archaeology of the modern city: A tale in six projects

Author(s): Tim Murray

Year: 2013


This article discusses some of the more important implications of a long-term research project into the archaeology of the modern city in Australia. It discusses how we can explore domesticity, community, family life, and issues of residence and mobility through urban archaeology, as well as providing evidence of larger issues about how and what people produce and consume in cities. In the five projects that followed the original research at Melboune’s “Little Lon” district, we developed new strategies to increase both temporal and spatial scales as we sought to focus on ways of reconciling differences in the resolving powers of different types of data. During the course of the nineteenth-century patterns of production, consumption, work, and residence changed across the Western world, and it became clear that comparisons between sites in Melbourne and Sydney (and later in London) were required to get a better understanding of the genesis and development of urban communities (and, at a more pragmatic level, to see whether it was possible to generalize about the composition of “working class” or indeed “middle class” assemblages). This article presents what is, in effect, a progress report on that broad comparative agenda.

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Expanding horizons in the archaeology of the modern city: A tale in six projects. Tim Murray. Journal of Urban History. 39 (5): 848-863. 2013 ( tDAR id: 426778)

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URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0096144213479308