Richard McNeill (PhD candidate, Department of Archaeology and History, La Trobe University), "A Succession of Communities: Kythera informs the archaeological survey of a goldfield in Victoria, Australia"
The diachronic approach of the Australia Paliochora Kythera Archaeological Survey project (APKAS) and the local nature of the Karavas water project encourage a sense of the past as a succession of communities, each leaving their distinct record but united by a reliance on local resources. This reliance, expressed in the infrastructure of industry, community and the household, becomes a part of the cultural and social identity of a community.
In place of the effects of long periods of time, the relatively recent material record of one of the goldfields of mid-19th century Victoria has been rendered cryptic by fire and rapidly changing circumstance. To avoid subjecting this record to our own political and social worldview, we must view it as one as remote from us as the barely visible contours of a Minoan tomb on the hillside opposite Karavas.
The relationship between a community and the means of its survival, evident on the slopes of the Karavas stream catchment, serves as a way of objectively interpreting the society that occupied the otherwise cryptic distribution of features on a goldfield in Victoria Australia.
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Richard McNeill was introduced to archaeology while in the Netherlands in 1980. He worked as a crew member for surveys and excavations in the Netherlands and the American southwest for several years before completing study and training as a surveyor and GIS specialist.
Richard went on to work in the cultural heritage and conservation sectors while assisting field surveys and excavations in Northern Syria (https://leilan.yale.edu/about-project/overview) and Australia. From 2003 Richard has assisted the APKAS project.
In 2016 Richard, enrolled as a PhD candidate at La Trobe University.