Thousands of Aboriginal artefacts uncovered near Maitland, New South Wales

11 September 2015

Work on the Chichester Trunk Gravity Main has led to around 3,000 Aboriginal artefacts being uncovered at Tarro, near Maitland, New South Wales.

(Image source: ABC News Pic: Hunter Water)

Work on the pipeline that delivers drinking water to 40 per cent of the Hunter region has led to around three-thousand Aboriginal artefacts being uncovered near Maitland.

Hunter Water is starting to replace an ageing section of the 85-kilometre Chichester Trunk Gravity Main, near Tarro.

Several years ago, high lead levels were identified in cattle grazing along the pipeline.

Hunter Water says the work involves burying nearly three kilometres of it, and removing the lead joins.

Spokesman Nick Keiser said a heritage consultant will spend the next few months studying the artefacts that have been found.

"We've found around 2,500 to 3,000 Aboriginal artefacts," he said.

"So, these are mostly stone tools but also flakings that have come from other rocks, as the tools are being made.

"In conjunction with the local Aboriginal land council, we've actually taken the artefacts that we can take form the area away for further examination, before they'll actually be returned to the site."

Mr Kaiser said, at this stage, they will be reburied close to where they were found.

"A heritage consultant has temporary control of the artefacts," he said.

"Over the next couple of months they'll be examining them, trying to put together a picture of how the people who used these tools actually lived.

"And, with any luck, we'll be able to date them, although that can be tricky.

"Hopefully we can gain a better picture of how the traditional people of the land actually lived and operated."

A heritage consultant is examining around 3,000 Aboriginal artefacts that have been uncovered at Tarro, near Maitland.
(Image source: ABC News Pic: Hunter Water)