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Who Came to Tea at the Old Kinchega Homestead?

Tablewares, Teawares and Social Interaction at an Australian Outback Pastoral Homestead

Penelope M. Allison and Virginia Esposito
Publication Year:
240 pages, Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white. 60 tables, 151 figures. With additonal material online (Appendices).
Sub-series name:
Leicester Archaeology Monograph, 25
BAR number:


This book comprises a study of ceramic tableware and teaware remains from the outback pastoral homestead, The Old Kinchega Homestead, in western NSW, Australia, occupied from 1870 until 1955. This homestead is on the Kinchega Pastoral Estate which was a major player in Australia’s important wool industry. These objects were excavated from the homestead and collected from its refuse area by the Kinchega Archaeological Research Project. The book includes detailed analyses of these artefacts, and of the tableware and teaware sets they constitute, for information on the changing dining and tea-drinking practices at this homestead. The micro-histories of these objects and these practices provides fresh perspectives on the changing social networks, social aspirations and social values of the inhabitants of this homestead. The research focuses particularly on the women who lived in this male-dominated outback pastoral context, in this remote region of the British colonial and post-colonial world, during this important period in Australia’s history.

Penelope M. Allison is Professor of Archaeology (University of Leicester), Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and of the Society of Antiquaries (London), Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK), Corresponding Member of the Archaeological Institute of America and lifetime member of the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology. She has published several major monographs, mainly concerning household archaeology.

Virginia Esposito specialises in historical ceramic artefacts, their usage and provenance. Her PhD from Australian National University focused on ceramics from Australian mining settlements. She has undertaken chemical analyses of ceramic bodies and glazes and has practical experience in making ceramic objects.

‘This book forwards the analysis of late 19th-20th century ceramics.’ Professor Suzanne Spencer-Wood, Oakland University, USA

‘It is a significant and data rich contribution that will provide extremely useful comparative material for Australian archaeologists […] as well as for UK and US/Canadian/ other ex-British colonial areas.’ Professor Martin Gibbs, University of New England, Australia

Table of Contents (S2964_9781407355504_ToC.pdf, 121 Kb) [Download]

Foreword and Introduction (S2964_9781407355504_Foreword_Introduction.pdf, 512 Kb) [Download]