Archaeological sites

Victoria contains a rich assortment of historical archaeological sites that reflect the history of the state’s settlement, growth and change.  The Heritage Act 1995 protects all historical archaeological sites in the state, and all known sites are included in the Heritage Inventory, found on the Heritage Database

There are currently more than 6,500 archaeological sites included in the Heritage Inventory, although there are thousands of other sites across the state that have never been reported or assessed.

Types of sites

Victoria’s historical archaeology is very diverse. It includes:

  • sites relating to the settlement and growth of townships
  • mining sites from the Goldrush years
  • forest sites like saw-mills
  • defence sites
  • coastal sites where sealing and whaling was once carried out
  • and many more.

The protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage is administered by Aboriginal Victoria who administer the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2016.

Works or development on a site

If works are planned that may disturb an archaeological site, contact Heritage Victoria’s Archaeology team.  A Heritage Certificate will identify whether a property is included on the Heritage Inventory.

If you are going to disturb a site we may require a program of archaeological investigations to take place first; refer to the Consent process

View artefacts

Images on Flickr

From the Deep: revelations of the sea

History of gold mining in Victoria

We manage a large collection of artefacts from land and seabed excavations. The collection is available for research, viewable online through the Victorian Archaeological Artefact Database (hosted by Museum Victoria), or by appointment.

Artefacts are available for loan to organisations for exhibitions, research, or educational projects. Contact Heritage Victoria for details: 03 9415 4402.

More information

Heritage Victoria’s Archaeology team can be contacted at archaeology.admin@delwp.vic.gov.au or 03 9938 6894.