Archaeologists found artefacts connected with the first settlers of Australia’s South West in the 1830s. The items were found in Augusta and are believed to be linked to the Turner family.
Archaeologists discovered remains of ceramic pots, broken chess pieces and coal remnants were among the items found is shallow soil at the site called Turner’s Cellar. The excavations focused around the site where pioneer James Turner and his family lived for 19 years. The Turner family brought a prefabricated home with them from England which they set up on the site. James was a builder and surveyor from London who built at least two ships in Western Australia and set up a timber exporting business. The Turners stayed in Augusta until 1849 when they moved their house to Perth.
The dig was part of a study into how the first settlers adapted to the new environment when they arrived. According to the archaeologists, coal was among the interesting finds, as it was likely used for cooking and blacksmithing, and had not been mentioned in past records. The nearest major coal resource was some 20 kilometres away, so the find could indicate a small coal seam in the town. The team is going to study geological maps and continue digging to try to figure out where the coal came from.
(after WA State Library & ABC News)