Albany Town Jetty and Foreshore Redevelopment

Research Projects | Updated 4 years ago

Two divers excavating an underwater wreck location
Archaeologists excavating test square
Image copyright of WA Museum

The Maritime Archaeology department undertook archaeological survey work on the Albany foreshore for Landcorp in 1994.

This included extensive underwater archaeological surveys, test-pits and excavations underneath and to the east of the Town Jetty. In 2007, the Environmental Protection Authority required a further Environmental Impact Assessment to incorporate the modified foreshore development plan.

This archaeological site assessment was carried out in February 2008 by the Western Australian Museum's department of Maritime Archaeology. Staff conducted a survey of the jetty, undertook remote sensing of the harbour area and performed underwater test excavations to assess the archaeological values of the area to be impacted. Surveying the jetty involved using the modern jetty piles as control points to then reference the location of historic underwater jetty piles. Over a number of dives staff ascertained 13 old piles below the jetty.
Further terrestrial archaeological monitoring on the foreshore area was also required, as significant remains of the 19th century P&O floating dock were believed to be in this area. After three days of remote survey work a side scan sonar identified a number of small targets on the surface of the seabed. However, none of these proved to be the floating dock. Test pit excavations were also undertaken revealing cultural material lying above the sea grass bed layer. Artefacts recovered from the two excavation pits comprised of two modern beer bottles, a fragment of potentially older green glass and small pieces of wood that could possibly be small fragments or off-cuts from jetty construction work.

While in Albany, site inspections of the Cheynes II and Kingfisher shipwrecks were also undertaken. Maritime archaeological survey using remote sensing and excavation will also be required for the dredging and land reclamation of the marina area. The WA Museum department of Maritime Archaeology will be involved in undertaking this work.

See report #232.