It's a bit Pompeii-like: The unexpected buried blocks of Melbourne

Timeshifter

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Apologies if this has already been posted, I did search but found zero.

Anyway, this came on my newsfeed just now .

'It's a bit Pompeii-like': The unexpected 'buried blocks' of Melbourne'
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'Melbourne clay their shovels found a picket fence, its planks still hard and neatly rowed. At its base emerged a wooden track and, nearby, the stump of a long-ago chimney'

Long story short, whilst excavating, they discover a whole block under a city which is suposedly only 70 odd years old.

'There was no ready explanation for the workers, digging foundations for what would be Swanston Street’s famed Capitol Theatre, as the building they had just demolished had stood since 1865.
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Melbourne as a European settlement had existed only 30 years before that.

What do they do? They 'discover' that due to the swamp like nature of the land the houses were buildton, residents where forced to bury their homes... yep, you read that right.

This next part reminded me of this Seattle

'The Alliance Archaeology study, Heritage in Ruins: An investigation into Melbourne’s ‘Buried Blocks’ reveals details of a forgotten campaign throughout the 1850 and 1860s by Melbourne’s then-council to raise the levels of swampy Melbourne’s putrid streets.

Hills were flattened and low-lying areas filled, the reason for today's milder up-and-down cross-town walks'

'However, the bombshell in the study was its discovery of a law passed in 1853 requiring those in low-lying areas to bury their homes. If a landowner refused or was too slow, the council was empowered to raise the level of the land itself and charge the costs'

The researchers pored through old council records, newspaper articles and existing archaeological reports to find references to at least 30 sites (although there are likely dozens more), many of which would still be frozen in time under Melbourne’s CBD"

There is even a list of events, just so you understand what happened you see...

Well, there we are, what mudflood? there was none, people simply burried their houses as told! This must have been what happened world wide? :)

Source

Love to hear the forums thoughts?
 

KorbenDallas

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'However, the bombshell in the study was its discovery of a law passed in 1853 requiring those in low-lying areas to bury their homes. If a landowner refused or was too slow, the council was empowered to raise the level of the land itself and charge the costs'
Do we have the originals or contemporary copies of this law?
 

Cemen

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Residents bombarded Prague to avoid flooding.
In Russia, Count Zavadovsky buried the first floor of his estate, because it was higher than the Gatchina Palace of Emperor Paul the First. And buried in one night, before the arrival of the inspection.

Everything is the same.
 
OP
Timeshifter

Timeshifter

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Let me know if I can be of help. I'm not in Melbourne (or Victoria) but have pretty good libraries around me.
Thanks, some local knowledge may be the only way to uncover any truths here.

I have discovered the report compiled in relation to this by Lane and Gilchrist, you can find it and the pdfs here. report

However, doing a skim read, I see nothing in their pertaining to original evidence of any filling orders. Lots of discussion about them, their outcomes, the depth of back fill, mostly evidence is post 1850s.

An interesting passage in PDF 2, 7.1

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Interesting point:

Minutes of the Public Works Committee VPRS 4037/P0 – these meeting minutes contain mentions of filling orders. Such orders were often also reported in newspapers of the day when they reported on City Council meetings. It must be kept in mind, however that these records only record those instances of filling that required Council attention – i.e. it became necessary for the Council to order a landowner to fill their property.


In other words, besides a few, everyone filled in their homes without question.

This evidence would be thrown out in any court of law, IMO. This research it seems, is relying on Newspaper evidence, not actual proof of council/ government orders.

Also interesting, in the Bibliography, imo they pretty much admit some of what they have discovered as original documents are not entirely legible. However there may be something in the references that leads us to further info, no time at the moment.
 

Starmonkey

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Looking at the devastation and desertification, THAT looks like a continent a tsunami could wash right over.
Had a weird thought going to bed about CROCODILES and why they're only in certain places... Not sure what insight that provides. I'll have to chew it over some more.
Also, why Australia and upper NW America weren't on that old map YET...
 
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