Heritage items found at Cumberland Campus

14 April 2020

Heritage specialists working on the Parramatta Light Rail project have discovered Aboriginal heritage items during archaeological investigations and heritage salvage works within the Cumberland Campus area. The specialists have uncovered a number of Aboriginal stone artefacts, heating pits and associated ironstone pieces.

It is believed these finds were originally used by Aboriginal peoples in the area around 6,000 years ago to ‘cook’ ironstone, potentially to make red pigmented ‘ochre’ or paint. The ironstone would have likely been placed in the pits that were dug into the sand and topped with hot coals, and then heated up to 500 degrees. The cooking process would change the properties of the ironstone, and allow for the production of ochre.

The next step is to analyse the found objects and continue consultation with registered Aboriginal parties to determine where and how the artefacts should be preserved.

These essential works ensure that all sensitive areas near the light rail route are carefully explored, and any finds are properly recorded and protected from damage.

The Parramatta Light Rail project acknowledges the importance of local history and aims to minimise impact on the heritage of the local area while construction takes place.