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19. Excavations, Ritchie's Ridge.
Title : 19. Excavations, Ritchie's Ridge. 19. Excavations, Ritchie's Ridge.
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Creator : Mountford, Charles P., photographer
Date of creation : 1938
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 60 x 60 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

Members of a South Australian Government expedition sent to the Simpson Desert to search for possible remains of explorer Ludwig Leichhardt. The expedition was mounted to examine relics found near Mount Dare Station by station owner Edwin Lowe. The site of their excavation was named 'Ritchie's Ridge' in honour of the Chief Secretary of South Australia at that time, Sir George Ritchie.

L-R Archibald Grenfell Price, Rex Lowe?, Edwin Lowe. Press correspondent AC Kinnear can be seen in the background.

The party sieved across the site "in the hope of finding such relics as belt buckles, metals from firearms, or from boots to help in identifying the eight skeletons."

Grenfell Price surmised that during their three day dig, the party excavated some 1,700 square feet, to depths from six inches to three feet.

Whilst the excavations failed to uncover any proof of vanished explorer Leichhardt and his party, a series of relics was unearthed, including coins, human teeth and scraps of leather. Upon their return to Adelaide, some members of the party theorised that these may have been the remains of another exploration party, however it is now believed more likely to be the remains of an Aboriginal burial.
Related names :

Lowe, Edwin
Price, A. Grenfell (Archibald Grenfell), 1892-1977

Coverage year : 1938
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :
Connell, Gordon. The mystery of Ludwig Leichhardt. Carlton, Vic. : Melbourne University Press, 1980

Lamshed, Max. 'Monty' : the biography of C.P. Mountford, Adelaide : Rigby, 1972, pp. 56-60

Mountford, Charles P. 'Papers relating to the South Australian Government Expedition to search for the remains of explorer Ludwig Leichhardt', PRG 1218/9

Price, A. Grenfell. The Mystery of Leichhardt : the South Australian government expedition of 1938, South Australia : Royal Geographical Society, 1937-38

Roderick, Colin. Leichhardt, the dauntless explorer, North Ryde, N.S.W. : Angus & Robertson, 1988
Internet links :
Australian Dictionary of Biography - Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Leichhardt

National Museum of Australia. Leichhardt: the man, the mystery, the science, the history [symposium held in 2007]



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