Between 1863 and 1891, the colonial governments of Australia and New Zealand purchased a variety ofiron-hulled warshipsas a means of augmenting the defense of their coastal waters, harbors, and inland waterways. By the beginning of the twentieth century, these once formidable warships were largely obsolete, and while those in New Zealand were either lost or disposed of, their Australian counterparts were retained for service in the Commonwealth Naval Forces and Royal Australian Navy until after the First World War. Ultimately, however, these vessels too were also sold out of service. Many were subsequently used in a variety of secondary civilian roles before they were discarded, while others were ignominiously disposed of and forgotten. Archaeological investigation of a handful of these warship abandonment sites has revealed discard signatures that differ from those generally associated with contemporary commercial watercraft. This chapter will highlight these sites and explore tentative explanations for their unique discard attributes through the filter of archaeological site formation.
|Title of host publication||The Archaeology of Watercraft Abandonment: Ship Graveyards and Forgotten Fleets|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|