Artefacts halt site works at Bathers Beach

By Anni Fordham - Fremantle Cockburn Gazette

Site works at Bathers Beach have been suspended after asbestos and historically significant artefacts were found.

A statement from the City of Fremantle said the findings were being taken seriously but would have a minor impact on the development.

University of Notre Dame archaeologist Shane Burke is assessing the significance of the artefacts, which are believed to be domestic items from the period 1850 to 1900.

The artefacts include items such as black glass alcohol bottles, perfume bottles, clay smoking pipes and ceramics. City of Fremantle chief executive Graeme Mackenzie said finding the artefacts was a “bonus”.

“While these findings are considered low-level in terms of their historical significance, they are nonetheless still important and we will closely monitor any additional findings.” Council officers and architects will work with Mr Burke with a view to incorporating the archaeological finds into the project’s heritage interpretation scheme.

Mr Burke, a senior lecturer in archaeology, told the Gazette it was common to find artefacts when work was carried out on heritage sites in Fremantle. He said each of the “hundreds” of items found would be catalogued and identified if possible.

“We’ll cache them and give them a clean and some of the fancier objects, or some that people identify, might go on show. It would be good if that was the case.”

It was difficult to say how historically significant the items were, but they represented “tangible links with an area of Fremantle that’s changed completely”.



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