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Wellington Journal, 16th May 1863


Curious Relics - On the afternoon of Tuesday, as some of the colliers in the employ of Messrs. G. and J. Langford were engaged in getting coal near to the Ferry-field, they came upon some old workings near a fault. Here they discovered several primitive articles, used at some remote period in those ancient workings.

These included a basket, a skeleton dan, an axe, and a gaun. The basket, which is about thirty inches long by two feet wide, is quite unique. The flooring, consisting of oak boards about an inch and a half thick, is fastened to the sides, (which from the colour the wood must have been shod with iron, but which has perished) by six strong oaken pegs. These enter the sides about five inches, and rise above the floor of the basket about six inches. In addition to the iron bow, which spans the basket from end to end, rising about two feet from the floor, there are also two pegs. Around these pegs including ends and sides, there was a wall of wickerwork which is much decayed. When found the basket was full of small coals. The dan is about twenty inches wide by thirty long. The two side pieces are connected by four cross pieces. The shape is cuniform - wider at the one end than the other. The axe is encased with a firm encrustation of rust, except the edge, where a fracture recently made shows a good quality of steel. The handle, which is broken into three parts, is about thirty inches long. The iron hoops which bound the gaun have long since perished. The staves, the handle, and the circular bottom, about nine inches in diameter, are intact. These articles were found between two faults, which exist in this locality. In the opinion of the workmen who found these relics judging from the appearance of the place where they were found, water may have suddenly broken in upon the workmen, by whom, in their haste to escape, these primitive remains were abandoned.


Submitted by Ivor Brown

Does anyone know what a “gaun” is ? A small wooden bucket or barrel ??

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