Talking History – Archaeology Takes Centre Stage

Guadalupe Cincunegui presents Talking History’s second August lecture: Archaeology Takes Centre Stage – An Archaeological Assessment of the new Queen’s Theatre Site in the Adelaide CBD.

The paradox of archaeological excavation is that the process of excavation is destructive and irreversible. This paradox has been heightened in the wake of rescue and salvage archaeology, simply because it is the only avenue available to record information before it is lost forever. If physical preservation in situ is not feasible, an archaeological excavation for the purposes of ‘preservation by record’ is an acceptable alternative. So it was with the new Queens Theatre site located on Waymouth Street in the Adelaide CBD.

Soon to be a large apartment tower, a small team of archaeologists worked for a month in 40+ degree heat to excavate and record the remnants of Adelaide’s colonial past. As a result more than 100 boxes of artefacts were recovered and archaeological deposits relating to the very earliest periods of European occupation in the Adelaide CBD were unearthed and recorded. A fascinating tale of the earliest days in Adelaide emerged, of imported liquor and luxury table goods. Artefacts and archaeology hand in hand telling a story not commonly found in the archival data.

Guadalupe will take you through the process of the archaeological excavation, processing artefacts, recording techniques and talk through what was found and what it all means for the history of the city of Adelaide.


This free public lecture is part of History Trust of South Australia’s Talking History series. Book online here.

5.15pm for a 5.30pm start. Parking available on Torrens Parade Ground, off Victoria Drive. Refreshments will be provided.


Guadalupe has worked as an archaeologist for the last 15 years all over Australia and the Middle East. Guadalupe has a special interest in burials and burial rites in the archaeological record and has authored several papers on this subject. She currently runs her own heritage consultancy business working on Aboriginal and European heritage projects.