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Distinctive Irish Settlement Style Detected in South Australia

Monday, February 24, 2020

Australia Irish ClachanADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA—According to a statement released by Flinders University, archaeologist Susan Arthure of Flinders University and geophysical archaeologist Kelsey Lowe of the University of Queensland have identified an Irish-style clachan in South Australia through a geophysical survey of a mining and farming settlement site known as Baker’s Flat. A clachan consists of what could appear to be a chaotic, haphazard cluster of houses, outbuildings, paths, yards, paddocks, and fences that allowed residents to manage their animals and land as a community. The tradition of living in a clachan had died out in Ireland by the end of the nineteenth century, Arthure added, but this settlement indicates that the tradition continued in Australia, and allowed a community of more than 500 Irish immigrants to maintain their way of life. To read about Irish prisoners in the nineteenth century who were not sent to Australia, go to "Letter from Ireland: The Sorrows of Spike Island."

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