Aerial view of archaeology at Schofields - Guy Hazell

Excavation Results: Former Schofields Aerodrome

Timber cottage with brick paved and timber planked floor. (Source: Guy Hazell 2018)

A report outlining preliminary historical excavation results from the Former Schofields Aerodrome is now available to download. It includes an overview of the results at three sites, and plans for future research to be completed as part of post-excavation analysis.

Defence Housing Australia’s (DHA) new Akuna Vista residential development is currently under construction at the site of the former Schofields Aerodrome in Schofields, NSW. GML Heritage completed historical archaeological excavations to mitigate the impacts of development on three sites associated with the c1820 homestead of the Pye family.

Archaeologists at Schofields

The Schofields Aerodrome was established as an airfield by the Royal Australian Air Force in World War II and remained in use until it was decommissioned in 1994. Prior to establishment of the Aerodrome, the site comprised part of a large homestead established by Joseph Pye, son of emancipated convict John Pye, in 1816. The Pye family occupied the site until 1938.

These investigations focused on three sites depicted in a plan showing the property in 1842:

-Cottage Site—a rural nineteenth-century cottage with evidence of brickmaking;
-Orchard Site—a purposefully planted orchard landscape with potential contact period archaeology providing evidence of early interactions between the Pye family and local Aboriginal groups; and
-Homestead Site—the site of the ‘Waawaar Awaa’ homestead established by the Pye family by 1825, with remaining evidence of outbuildings and landscape modifications.

Historical archaeological remains recovered at the former Schofields Aerodrome provide rich evidence associated with rural industry, early colonial lifeways, interaction between Aboriginal groups and European settlers, early modifications to the natural landscape and military use of the site.

J.J. Pye on a horse with a bull in a cattle yard on his zebu farm, Schofield. (Source: SLNSW)

J.J. Pye on a horse with a bull in a cattle yard on his zebu farm, Schofield. (Source: SLNSW)

Heavy artillery shells found at Waawaar Awaa