It was a busy and successful weekend with the archaeology students from the University of Otago Anthropology Society. On Saturday 14th March Archaeologist Peter Petchey and 13 students excavated two 2 metre x 2 metre areas to find the corners of the entrance-way in the Larnach-era building that once enclosed the south side of the farmstead. This is where the previous Nyhon woolshed once stood, so it was expected to find quite a bit of disturbance, but there was surviving evidence of the old buildings still on site. The group found stone lines and the two interior corners of the entrance-way into the farmyard. They also cleared out the drains around the byre, which were clogged since they were last cleared by OAS students about two years ago.
Overview of the farm
On Sunday 15th March Peter and four students worked at Stewarts cottage. They dug out a considerable amount of sheep droppings from the interior of the original section of the cottage and removed a couple of sheep cadavers. They also put up netting to try to stop sheep getting in again.
The Hereweka Trust have recently deconstructed the small barn used as an early 20th century woolshed at the Larnach’s farmstead on the Hereweka site. The work was undertaken by local contractor John Clearwater from Clearwater Civil and supervising archaeologist Peter Petchey. While it was sad to see the building go, the building had reached a state of such disrepair its retention and conservation were almost impossible. From the deconstruction the Trust were able to ascertain that the building was;
probably not part of the original Larnach-period and was constructed in the early 20th century.
its construction was a mixture of timbers (including imported hardwoods, a small amount of pit-sawn natives, milled rimu and milled pine).
some of the material had been “cobbled together” from other buildings.
very little of the material was sound enough for reuse, though some may be used as seating in the future.
A full archaeological report will follow the work and this information helps the Trust develop further understanding of the use of the site both during and after the Larnach period. Some of that will help form part of the later interpretation for visitors to the site.
Dunedin is famous for having warm and settled weather in March and Sunday the 11th was a beautiful example of that fame. Bright sun and no breeze welcomed over 300 keen Hereweka hikers of all ages for the 6.45 km walk across this unique part of the Otago Peninsula. The Trust were delighted with the turn out and it was great to see so many families take on the challenge of the course. The added bonus of a sausage sizzle at Larnach Farm that was put on generously by the Breeze Radio Station was a welcome stop and chance to rest before the last downhill section of the walk. A special thanks to Jane Ashman for help with parking, Keep Dunedin Beautiful for the chocolate and the Trust Committee for your hard work and support. Overall, this was a great event and it was very pleasing to have such a great turn-out. The Trust looks forward to having everyone back again next year. (Click on the pictures to view full size)