Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The Archaeology of the Convict Probation System: The Labor Landscapes of Port Arthur and the Cascades Probation Station, 1839-55
Contributor(s): Tuffin, Richard  (author)orcid ; Gibbs, Martin  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2020-09
Early Online Version: 2020-01-20
DOI: 10.1007/s10761-019-00523-w
Handle Link:
Abstract: In the British colony of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania, Australia) the period 1839-53 witnessed an irrevocable change in the way in which prisoners (convicts) were managed. Known as the "probation system", its introduction saw convicts newly transported from the corners of the Empire sequestered in government-run stations across the colony's length and breadth. At these places, rigorous and uncompromising discipline, classificatory regimes, religious inculcation and trades-training would see the convict molded into working stock for the colony. In reality, such ideologies were to be undone by reactive planning, miscommunication and chronic under-resourcing, as well as helplessly undermined by unforeseen economic and political circumstances. Condemned as a failure, probation has nonetheless left an indelible mark on Tasmania's landscape. A system only implemented in Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island, it can rightfully claim a significance that extends well beyond these islands' shores, playing a critical role in Britain's globe-spanning penological enterprise. In this paper, we chart the course of probation, simultaneously outlining a framework for engaging with these landscapes where penology and labor was so closely intertwined. It will be illustrated with two examples drawn from the Tasman Peninsula: the Port Arthur penal station (1830-77) and Cascades probation station (1842-55). Using archeological and historical enquiry, the different impacts that probation had upon the penological and labor management of these places are examined, providing examples of how the significant landscapes of the probation-era can be examined.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Grant Details: ARC/DP170103642
Source of Publication: International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 24(3), p. 589-617
Publisher: Springer New York LLC
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1573-7748
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 210104 Archaeology of Australia (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander)
210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 430103 Archaeology of Australia (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander)
430302 Australian history
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280113 Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
130703 Understanding Australia’s past
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Files in This Item:
2 files
File Description SizeFormat 
Show full item record


checked on Nov 25, 2023

Page view(s)

checked on Sep 24, 2023


checked on Sep 24, 2023
Google Media

Google ScholarTM



Items in Research UNE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.