Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, Vol 5, No 1 (2018)

Time on the Waterline: Coastal Reclamations and Seawalls in Sydney and Japan

Denis Byrne
Issued Date: 4 Jun 2018


Coastal reclamations may represent humanity's overreaching lust for land, but from whereI stand in 2015 on the beach below the reclamation at Elizabeth Bay on Sydney Harbour,gazing at the sandstone seawall, what compels my attention is the way this reclamationis giving up its substance to the sea. As the geological time of the wall engages with therhythmic time of the sea, my own geosubjectivity comes momentarily into view. Recollectionof the reclamation park of the 1980s as a gay cruising site sparks a considerationof how open minds and touching bodies in that decade form a background conduciveto closer human-nonhuman relations in the present decade. Finally, moving to the SetoInland Sea, Japan, to reflect on the time of concrete, I examine the historical move fromstone to concrete as the favoured material for seawall construction.

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DOI: 10.1558/jca.33282


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