Archaeology???

 
  Sirion Station Staff

Location: N.E. Victoria
Strange use of the word for 'Archaeology' considering the meaning of it is:

1 : the scientific study of material remains (as fossil relics, artifacts, and monuments) of past human life and activities

2 : remains of the culture of a people

Wouldn't 'History' be a better term?

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  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
Strange use of the word for 'Archaeology' considering the meaning of it is:

1 : the scientific study of material remains (as fossil relics, artifacts, and monuments) of past human life and activities

2 : remains of the culture of a people

Wouldn't 'History' be a better term?
"Sirion"


That's a good definition and explains exactly the use of the term, especially as modified with the prefix 'Industrial'
  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
The Railway Archaeology Society in the UK states its purpose as "to record and preserve in both paper and digital forms the appearance and, where appropriate, the operation of the physical railway and its ancillary structures."

Cheers
David
  TA 2000 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA - I wish!
The Railway Archaeology Society in the UK states its purpose as "to record and preserve in both paper and digital forms the appearance and, where appropriate, the operation of the physical railway and its ancillary structures."

Cheers
David
"DavidB"


I throught it should history, But David Suggested Archaeology which is highly appropriate for this forum, every body knows what we mean by Railway Archaelogy.
  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
I have some first hand experience of railway archaeology. When the former loco depot area at Korumburra was being prepared for the (re)installation of the turntable, the original ashpits were found buried in the dirt. One even had its original drop pit, which was officially listed as having been filled with concrete back in the 1920s. In fact it had just been filled with dirt and was quite usable.

Cheers
David
  ninthnotch Dr Beeching

Location: Not here. Try another castle.
Also a lot of the work that I have seen of the Light Railway Research Society of Australia would be very close to the standard/layman's term of archaeology, even resulting in former railway structures being classified as archaeological sites...
  allan Chief Commissioner

Strange use of the word for 'Archaeology' considering the meaning of it is:

1 : the scientific study of material remains (as fossil relics, artifacts, and monuments) of past human life and activities

2 : remains of the culture of a people

Wouldn't 'History' be a better term?
"Sirion"


Archaeology is a sub-field of "history", which focuses upon the "material remains", rather than the printed or verbalised word.

Industrial Archaeology, as a separate subject, dates from the mid-1950s, in England. Railway Archeaology is a part of this subject. The results of archaeological studies are incorporated into histories: it is the methodology of archaeology that sets it apart.

All those big words.......
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
Archaeology is the study of the past through material culture and although it may seem like history what is actually happening is that historical documents are being used to explain material culture (ie railway tracks).

This form of archaeology is often termed historical (as it either uses historical documents or is in the historical period) or Industrial as it covers laregly industrial processes or (this is my favourite) post-contact or non-Indigenous.

Many years ago Light Railways refered to it as sindroarchology - archaeology of forests???

I should also note that having worked as an archaeologist for 20+ years and having a Doctorate in the field, I have written the odd article on the question of history and archaeology so if required (and maybe its not required in this forum) I can supply chapter and verse on the subject. However it is of interest to me that this point has been rasied in a lay forum so to speak ... oh I can feel anyother paper comming on.... Rolling Eyes
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
This subject reminded me of an interesting chapter in my interest in model railways. I've posted it here...
http://www.railpage.org.au/forums/viewtopic.php?p=28233#28233
....in the model railways forum.
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
I have found a cutting in an old file defining what we are about. From light Railways Spring 1967

Sidrodromarchaeologist

dont ask me how to say it !
  JGS Well. We'll see about THAT!

Location: Junee NSW
Those of us who studied ancient Greek now that archaeology comes from the Greek 'Arche' meaning 'beginning' and 'logos' meaning 'word' so the study of what was around in the beginning (wish I had ancient Greek font!). This is pretty broad, but I'd suggest that the beginning of rail history would qualify. I've long been a student of industrial and rail archaeology, especially buried tram lines, etc.

Cheers,
Matt
  Riccardo Minister for Railways

Location: Gone. Don't bother PMing here.
Archaeology sounds good to me

History (as its name suggests) is more about narrative - a record of what people said, did and thought over the years.

Archaeology is the physical evidence.

Finding tram tracks in the ground and saying "Where did these run to?" "When did they stop?" etc is a joy of archaeology. Of course you are likely to find the answer in books ie history.

In a country with European settlement so relatively recent, railway archaeology is one of the few forms of archaeology so interesting and profitable, as railways can be built, closed and ripped up leaving so little trace.

It is hard to imagine major railway yards in say the Cessnock area, the bustle of hundreds of coal trains a day, passengers and freights, shunting, people running everywhere. Now gone with so little trace. So much human activity now just lantana. Crying or Very sad

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