Meet Our Newest Principals

Congratulations to our newest Principals at GML Heritage—Abi Cryerhall and Dr Tim Owen. We are very pleased to have these talented archaeologists as senior members of our team. They share a passion for high quality archaeological outcomes that exceed client expectations, meet regulatory requirements and add to our knowledge about the rich archaeological resource which exists across Australia.

Abi Cryerhall

Abi Cryerhall has worked as an archaeologist and heritage consultant for 20 years in Australia and internationally. She has expert knowledge in historical archaeology, methodologies and research designs, heritage assessment and management. She takes a pragmatic, client focused approach to her work and focuses on solutions rather than problems, should challenges arise.

Beyond the formalities, Abi is really a storyteller and explorer at heart. She is passionate about making archaeology accessible and is comfortable hosting site tours, data sharing with the archaeology sector or talking to the media. She challenges her dig teams to come up with better ways to get things done, and has championed the use of photogrammetry and 3D modelling at her excavation sites. Her open communication style, combined with her expert knowledge and desire for the best outcomes, make her a desirable project lead for any team.

Abi’s Favourite Find

One of Abi’s favourite finds is this Holloway’s ointment jar from a dig site in Parramatta.

The grandiose declarations on the ceramic packaging claimed to cure ‘innumerable ailments’.

The artefact may be an example of successful global marketing (rather than a medical miracle) in the mid-nineteenth century, as similar artefacts have been found in the United Kingdom, USA and in other parts of Australia.

Ceramic jar held in hands

Dr Tim Owen

Tim Owen is a professional archaeologist, with 15 years’ experience, directing both Aboriginal and historical heritage projects throughout Australia, notably in NSW and South Australia. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at Flinders University, SA.

At his core, Tim is a determined problem-solver. He specialises in complex cultural landscape assessments, heritage management, bioarchaeological analysis and Aboriginal community, client and government liaison. Tim’s commitment, determination and extensive knowledge ensure that he achieves high level outcomes.

Tim’s Favourite Find

In 2013, Tim and Aboriginal communities from southwest Sydney identified a new type of archaeological evidence—clay heat retainers, common in southeast Australia, but not in the Sydney region.

These clay heat retainers were made by Aboriginal people for cooking in ground ovens. The baked clay balls were manufactured using specialist traditional knowledge, which required an understanding of temperature control, and methods of tempering clay (so it didn’t shatter in use). Our archaeological excavations identified several ground ovens in alluvial soils, which were subject to excavation and consequent scientific analysis.

Evidence left behind on the baked clay balls shows Aboriginal finger impressions, providing evidence for the Aboriginal ancestors leaving their mark on the past.

Baked clay ball on white background