Public lecture on ‘frozen heritage’ in Antarctica

Published 27 September 2010

nritchieAn archaeologist who has worked on sites associated with the Scott and Shackleton expeditions to Antarctica will present a public lecture on “frozen heritage” tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday 28 September) at the University of New England.

Dr Neville Ritchie (pictured here) has been involved in archaeological and conservation work in Antarctica since 1986. He has made seven trips, totalling eight months, to the Ross Dependency – the New Zealand-administered part of Antarctica – to survey and work on the heritage sites associated with the Scott and Shackleton polar expeditions in the first decades of twentieth century.

Dr Ritchie is Regional Archaeologist (Waikato) with the New Zealand Department of Conservation. His lecture, titled “Frozen heritage: Antarctic history, archaeology and conservation work”,  will outline the history of polar exploration, the surviving heritage sites of the so-called “Heroic Era”, and the major archaeological and conservation project that is currently being conducted under the auspices of the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

The lecture – the 2010 John Ferry Heritage Lecture – will be at 5.30 pm in UNE’s Arts Building (Lecture Theatre A2). The annual John Ferry Heritage Lecture, organised by UNE’s Heritage Futures Research Centre, honours the memory and work of the UNE-based historian Dr John Ferry (1949-2004).

Dr Ritchie, a University of Otago graduate, has been involved in archaeology since 1968 when he took part in excavations as a schoolboy. His specialist research interests include the archaeology and history of the overseas Chinese in New Zealand, mining and industrial archaeology, archaeology and history associated with the Waikato campaign (1863-64) of the New Zealand Wars, and the archaeology and conservation of the sites associated with the Scott and Shackleton polar expeditions in Antarctica. He was President of the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology from 2001 to 2006 and has published widely on these and many other subjects.

A post-lecture dinner will be held at the PJ Thai restaurant in Marsh Street, Armidale (7.30-7.45 pm), where further discussion can take place. People interested in attending the dinner should contact Dr Andrew Piper on (02) 6773 2764 (e-mail: as soon as possible.