21 February

On Saturday 10th February, Heritage Victoria’s land and maritime archaeology teams joined an open day at Cape Schanck. The open day was to share the work of an archaeological field school, as well as artefacts from local shipwrecks held by Heritage Victoria. Over 200 people attended.

Archaeology students from the Australian National University (ANU) have been investigating historical stables near the Cape Schanck Lightstation (H1748). The field school is run by the ANU and consultants Heritage Insight. Parks Victoria, Heritage Victoria, and Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation have provided support.  Three years of work has uncovered the stone floor of the stables, and over 1800 artefacts. Archaeologists led guided tours of the excavation.

Heritage Victoria’s archaeology team at Cape Schanck
Source: (Source: Heritage Victoria, 2023)

Heritage Victoria’s archaeologists spent the day talking to visitors about archaeology, shipwrecks, and artefacts. There was a special focus on stories and artefacts from shipwrecks near Mornington Peninsula. Visitors learnt about three Victorian wrecks and were able to see artefacts from each of them. The wrecks included:

  • Sierra Nevada (620), wrecked at Point Nepean in 1900 after a voyage from Liverpool.
  • S.S. Cheviot (113), wrecked on Cheviot Beach in 1887 while travelling from Melbourne to Sydney.
  • Craigburn (148), wrecked at Rye Back Beach in 1891 while being towed through Port Phillip heads.

Visitors to the Cape came away with a new understanding of the archaeology of the area.

Shipwreck artefacts from the Heritage Victoria collection
Source: (Source: Heritage Victoria, 2023)

Page last updated: 21/02/24