Archaeologists at a dig in South Australia believe they have pinpointed the exact site of Mary MacKillop’s first school.
Mary MacKillop - Australia’s first Catholic saint - set up her first school in a stable at Penola in the state’s south-east in 1866.
A dig led by Flinders University Associate Professor Heather Burke has been taking place for artefacts in the town.
Professor Burke says it seems likely they have now found the precise site of the stable where the school was first set up.
"We think we may have found the footings of an outbuilding," she said.
"We’re really hoping that this is the site of the stable because clearly that’s the building that’s most important to that whole story. Read more.
After only three days of work, Flinders University Archaeology students have recovered several artefacts from the soil of Mary MacKillop Memorial Park.
Since Sunday, 16 students have dug down through the landscaped surface to what appears to be the original surface from the time the stables were standing where Mary MacKillop created the first Catholic school in the district.
In the depths of the surface soil and sand, some Aboriginal stone artefacts (flakes) were discovered, which are likely to have been carted, with soil, from somewhere else in the area and placed at the site during landscaping in the 1970s and ‘80s.
Site supervisor, archaeologist and PHD student Cherrie Deleiuen said students had begun locating artefacts, including glass, ceramics, thimbles and buttons, that are possibly linked to the school. Read more.