Barangaroo Metro Project

Sydney Metro & Casey and Lowe

Barangaroo, NSW
2018 - Ongoing


As part of the Sydney Metro & City Southwest project, archaeological works at the Barangaroo Station development, run by Casey & Lowe and led by Excavation Director Mary Casey uncovered an abandoned timber vessel, Unidentified Darling Harbour Barangaroo No. 1 (UDHB1). The wreck was found to be of State Significance, due to the rarity (it is currently the only existing example of its kind in Australia) and what the item can tell us about the form, ship construction methods and materials used of early colonial shipbuilding in Australia.

Cosmos Archaeology was commissioned by Casey and Lowe to collaborate alongside ICS on the excavation, removal and conservation of the UDHB1 wreck. Six options were proposed in the management of the site. Option two; plank by plank removal and conservation was considered to be the best option. The removal process included several stages. It was a large-scale collective undertaking, consisting of a range of tasks including excavation, lifting, recording, packing and storage.

The team was composed of maritime archaeologists who looked after the recording of the timbers removed from the wreck, terrestrial archaeologists who looked after the excavation and lifting and the conservators who managed the packaging and storage of the removed timbers. 

The teams followed the process of:

  • Tagging the timbers for their removal,
  • Photography and videography
  • A high level of timber features and measurements recording.
  • The taking of timber samples for identification and dating.

A refrigerator was placed on site for the conservation of the removed timbers during works. Conservation consisted of:

  • Timbers consistently kept wet,
  • Timbers wrapped in Hessian/Geo fab material,
  • Timbers catalogued and stored in the refrigerator.

Extensive photography and videography were taken throughout the excavations and removal works. These records will be used during the conservation phase of the project which will include reconstruction of the timber pieces of the vessel. 

Cosmos Archaeology will be finalising the maritime excavation report in 2021.


Maritime archaeologists and maritime archaeology students involved included Cosmos Coroneos, Dr Kurt Bennett, Rick Bullers, Dr Matt Carter, Dragomir Garbov, Keiran Hosty, Paul Hundley, James Hunter, Renee Malliaros, Dr Maddy McAllister, Connor McBrian, Mark Polzer, Peta Straiton, Dr Wendy Van Duivenvoorde, Tim Zapor

In kind consultation support and assistance was greatly provided by Heritage Victoria, The Silentworld Foundation, Australian National Maritime Museum, National Danish Museum, RPS and Flinders University.