Rather appropriately, I join the blog for the first time today just as winter has well and truly (if rather belatedly) arrived in Sydney. The seasons have been in my thoughts for a range of reasons recently, including my own research into the archaeology of maritime quarantine, which has been throwing up all sorts of ideas about how climate and seasonality interact with (or at least, have been seen to interact with) the spread of epidemic disease, and how that might manifest archaeologically – but more on that in future posts.
Recent posts here, and Australia’s own fast-approaching federal election, instead have me thinking of political seasons. Sydney’s streets are currently plastered with campaign (and protest) materials. For archaeologists and other researchers this election, one issue at play is the funding of Trove, a database created by the National Library which brings together content from libraries, museums, archives and repositories and hosts a huge range of digitised newspapers, maps and images. Australia has had five Prime Ministers in the last five years; we’ll find out in less than a week if that becomes six for six, and the implications that has for archaeology and heritage in this country.