Rebuild uncovers trash 'time capsule'

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 07:43 23/02/2013
doll
TRASH TO TREASURE: A doll's head from the 19th Century has been found.

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The story of how Christchurch's earthquakes led to significant architectural finds is being told on National Geographic's website.

On the second anniversary of the February 22, 2011, earthquake, National Geographic published an online story about what archaeologists have found in the city since the disaster.

A 19th century doll's head, part of a leather shoe, broken bottles, a ceramic bottle and a child's teacup are among some of the items shown.

"The earthquakes led to an unprecedented number of heritage building demolitions, many in the Christchurch CBD, a known area of pre-1900 occupation," University of Canterbury associate professor Paul Millar said.

What had been found in the last two years - from soda bottles and patent medicine containers to ceramic beer bottles and fragments of clay pipes - was akin to a time capsule from the earliest days of Canterbury, he said.

"It's funny all the things that turn up."

Millar said the New Zealand Historic Places Trust contracted Underground Overground Archaeology to photograph and document items.

Underground Overground Archaeology director Katharine Watson's team recovered the doll's head, shown on the website, at the site where stables once stood adjacent to the Zetland Arms Hotel in Cashel St, which had been built in the early 1860s, and rebuilt between 1901 and 1903 after a fire.

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- The Press

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