Studies in Australasian Historical Archaeology

Archaeology and History of the Chinese in Southern New Zealand During the Nineteenth Century

A Study of Acculturation, Adaptation and Change

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Publisher Description

This revised edition of Dr Neville A. Ritchie’s 1986 PhD dissertation explores the history and archaeology of the 19th century Chinese mining communities in the Clutha Valley, New Zealand. Lavishly illustrated with black-and-white line drawings of Chinese domestic and industrial sites, and of the artefacts excavated from them, this study offers unprecedented insight into the life and material culture of these male-only “sojourner” communities.

Widely considered the most comprehensive archaeological study of overseas Chinese miners’ experience anywhere in the world, this volume contains the total summation and analysis of artefacts found in 23 Chinese sites excavated over nine years, which included two camps (with 40 individual huts and other features), a Chinese store and 20 rural sites, including miner’s huts and rock shelters.

Considered by the Australian Society for Historical Archaeology to be a seminal work in the field of historical archaeology, this 2023 edition introduces Dr. Ritchie’s groundbreaking work to the next generation of archaeologists.

“Dr Neville Ritchie’s PhD ... has long been a sought-after resource for those involved in the archaeology and history of the Chinese diaspora and I welcome it in its published form. The detailed text is matched with invaluable graphics and statistics. ... the go-to reference for archaeologists and historians involved in the Pacific Rim Chinese diaspora.”

“Neville Ritchie’s intensive and long-awaited examination of the Chinese in southern New Zealand brilliantly intertwines historical research and archaeological excavation with meticulous artefact analysis to present a wonderfully detailed portrayal of the daily lives of the South Island’s early Chinese pioneers.”

“Brought to light a significant part of world and New Zealand history few knew anything about ... an encyclopedic reference work for archaeologists and historians to refer to. For readers interested in learning more about the Chinese in New Zealand he provides a readable narrative about their daily lives. This book is highly recommended for all who want to learn about Chinese immigration and lives in the southern Pacific during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.”

1 November
Sydney University Press
The University of Sydney

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