This week I had the pleasure of introducing Ollie Yan, our brand new member of Team Ancient Explorer.
Ollie is from Sydney, Australia. Like his friend, Ana Solana, who is from Cusco, Peru, Ollie loves to explore ancient and historic places and wants to be an archaeologist when he grows up. Ollie has Chinese heritage. His great, great, great grandfather came to Australia from the Guangdong Province of China during the goldrush.
One of Ollie’s favourite places to explore is Kiandra. Kiandra is an abandoned historic gold mining town located in the Snowy Mountains, inside the Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales. Gold was first discovered at Kiandra in 1859. The following year, the township at Kiandra flourished with more than 10,000 miners camping at the place, including a large number of Chinese people. By 1861, the town went into decline, with many leaving the area. Mining operations finally ended in 1905.
From 1996, the field schools of the Australian National University carried out archaeological surveys and excavations at the historic place. These investigations were carried for over a decade.
In the devastating bushfires in January 2020, the last standing remains of this important place, including the courthouse, were destroyed.
One of Ollie’s special tasks as a member of Team Ancient Explorer is to help us explore Kiandra. He will help children learn about this historic place in our brand new educational resource, Let’s Record the Kiandra Chinese Camp, due to be released this month.
I have created this educational resource with Dr Virginia Esposito, who is an archaeologist and an artist. Virginia was awarded her PhD in 2013 from the Australian National University, Canberra. Her dissertation concentrated on ceramics from Australian mining settlements, including Chinese camps, in New South Wales.
Virginia, Ollie and I can’t wait to explore Kiandra with you!