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Little Lon

Little Lonsdale ceramics

Image: Little Lonsdale ceramics

Source: Museum Victoria

'Little Lon' is an inner-city block in Melbourne bordered by Lonsdale, Exhibition, Little Lonsdale and Spring Streets. The area, also known as the Commonwealth Block as it was acquired by the Commonwealth Government in 1948, has been subject to five archaeological excavations since 1988. Museum Victoria is custodian of the 500,000+ artefacts excavated from four of the five digs: Little Lon in 1988, Black Eagle and Odd Fellows Hotels in 1990, 17 Casselden Place in 1995, and Casselden Place in 2002.

During the mid to late nineteenth century, Little Lon evolved as a predominantly working class area. It was characterised by a series of laneways, with small properties packed together creating crowded and unsanitary conditions. In the public's consciousness, Little Lon was a slum, riddled with poverty, prostitution and drug addiction.

Little Lon was the city's 'Red Light District', but it was also home to the city's poorest residents and recently arrived immigrants from Ireland, Italy, China and Syria. And what recent archaeological and historical research shows us is that under adverse conditions, many individuals and families managed to make homes, raise children, and establish businesses in Little Lon.

Items per page: 10 50 (showing 51 - 60) 398 items

  • Bottle - Milk, Glass, Milk Bottles Recovery Ltd, after 1930 Archaeology

    Bottle - Milk, Glass, Milk Bottles Recovery Ltd, after 1930

    This clear glass milk bottle was excavated at Casselden Place in 2003. It was machine made in Melbourne after 1930 when Milk Bottles Recovery Limited began.

    Images: 1
  • Pipe - Clay, circa 1880 (Part) Archaeology

    Pipe - Clay, circa 1880 (Part)

    This clay tobacco pipe bowl and spur was excavated in 2003 at Casselden Place. A pipeful of tobacco was long-lasting and its aroma disguised the stench of Melbourne's streets. The shor ...

    Images: 1
  • Bottle - Scent, Glass, circa 1880 (Damaged) Archaeology

    Bottle - Scent, Glass, circa 1880 (Damaged)

    This small, green, scent bottle was excavated at Casselden Place in 2003. Health and hygiene. 'Cleanliness is next to Godliness'. This is a difficult maxim to follow when 'there is n ...

    Images: 1
  • Writing Slate - Stone, circa 1880 (Fragment) Archaeology

    Writing Slate - Stone, circa 1880 (Fragment)

    This fragment of writing slate was excavated at Casselden Place in 2003. There are guide lines etched into the surface. Writing implements, found throughout Little Lon, indicate that w ...

    Images: 1
  • Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880 Archaeology

    Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880

    These astragalus bones, from the hindquarter of a goat or sheep were excavated at Casselden Place in 2003. They may have been used to play the game knuckle bones. 'When I was a child, ...

    Images: 1
  • Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880 Archaeology

    Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880

    Alternative Name(s): Knucklebone This astragalus bone was excavated at Casselden Place in 2003. It is from the hind quarter of a goat or sheep and part of a group of eight that may ha ...

    Images: 1
  • Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880 Archaeology

    Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880

    Alternative Name(s): Knucklebone This astragalus bone was excavated at Casselden Place in 2003. It is from the hindquarter of a goat or sheep and part of a group of eight that may hav ...

    Images: 1
  • Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880 Archaeology

    Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880

    Alternative Name(s): Knucklebone This astragalus bone was excavated at Casselden Place in 2003. It is from the hindquarter of a goat or sheep and part of a group of eight that may hav ...

    Images: 1
  • Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880 Archaeology

    Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880

    Alternative Name(s): Knucklebone This astragalus bone was excavated at Casselden Place in 2003. It is from the hindquarter of a goat or sheep and part of a group of eight that may hav ...

    Images: 1
  • Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880 Archaeology

    Astragalus - Bone, circa 1880

    Alternative Name(s): Knucklebone This astragalus bone was excavated at Casselden Place in 2003. It is from the hindquarter of a goat or sheep and part of a group of eight that may hav ...

    Images: 1
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