RDHP Team Members join celebration of a local deep history stone axe quarry

RDHP Team members Josh Newham and Julie Rickwood attended a ceremony to celebrate the gazettal of the Millpost Stone Axe Quarry as an Aboriginal Place with the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage on Tuesday 21 May.

Located between Queanbeyan and Bungendore, Millpost is a family run farm whose owners, Judith Turley and David Watson, were recently made aware that their property was also once the site of an Aboriginal quarry. Evidence on site suggests that local indigenous people harvested the abundant metadolerite from an exposed hilltop on the property for thousands of years, working the stone into axe blanks before grinding the edges sharp on sandstone outcrops found in the creek system below.

Elders and members of the Ngunnawal community were in attendance, as well as members of the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), local landholders, and staff and students from the ANU community, including members of the School of Archaeology.

The event began with a Welcome to Country, which was followed by talks from Ngambri and Ngunnawal Elders Matilda House and Wally Bell, OEH archaeologist Dave Johnston, and Mill Post owners Judith Turley and David Watson, all focussing on the collaborative nature of the project to have the site gazetted, and the importance of the site and the history it represented for local communities. The gathered crowd then ascended the hill to view the quarry site and see its significance in the local landscape, with further guidance from Dave Johnston. They then descended for a celebratory afternoon tea. Further collaborative study into the site will be conducted by a multidisciplinary team from the ANU collaborating with traditional custodians and landowners.