Notre Dame unearths local history for Fremantle's Heritage Week

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 24-5-2006

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle

Publication Place



Dr Shane Burke (formerly of the West Australian Museum) will be conducting an archaeological excavation at the Fremantle Hotel next week, which members of the public will be able observe as part of the City of Fremantle’s Heritage Week.

The heritage listed hotel is owned by The University of Notre Dame Australia and from June 1st to June 3rd the University is inviting community members to watch as artefacts from the early colonial use of the site are unearthed, analysed and interpreted, providing a rare glimpse into the life of early Fremantle residents.

An assortment of broken crockery, pottery and glass were found in a mound of dirt when the University began work renovating the hotel about 3 months ago. Notre Dame staff were very keen to ensure that every thing was done to identify and preserve objects of significance.

The Heritage Week dig will take place inside the hotel at the rear of the bar. It will then take 2-3 weeks to analyse and date the objects found, after which the artefacts will be put on display. This is the first archaeological dig to be held at the Fremantle Campus and Notre Dame Property Services Manager Terry Craig said “it will be very exciting if we find something intact of great heritage interest.”

Not surprisingly several Notre Dame history students have put their hands up to be part of a second dig that will be held later in the year, in the hotel’s rear courtyard. The internship project will involve assisting Dr Burke with excavation and recovery work as he pieces together the history of the site.

Media Contact:
Michelle Ebbs
08 9433 0610, 0408 959 138