Archaeologists reveal findings from rubble of quake-damaged buildings

Isabel Haley, left, and Olivia Granger, look for treasures in the long drops.
DEAN KOZANIC/FAIRFAX NZ

Isabel Haley, left, and Olivia Granger, look for treasures in the long drops.

Ever wondered what might have been at the bottom of a long drop in the 1800s?

If you're in Christchurch over the next eight weeks — you're in luck.

TV crews were in Christchurch on Sunday filming an episode of Heritage Rescue, a new TV series which sees a group of experts travelling around New Zealand helping different museums with projects.

TV show Heritage Rescue came to The Commons to let children investigate what previous generations have left behind.
DEAN KOZANIC/FAIRFAX NZ

TV show Heritage Rescue came to The Commons to let children investigate what previous generations have left behind.

In Christchurch, the team were opening a pop-up exhibit of artefacts sourced from under buildings after the earthquakes. 

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Everything on display was from the 50-year period between 1850 and 1900, sourced from all over Canterbury, including the Christchurch CBD, Lyttelton, and Ashburton.

Interestingly, many of the artefacts were found at the bottom of long drops — warranting a toilet-themed display in the exhibit.

Producer Laurie Clark said archaeologists were invited to several sites for exploratory digs after quake-damaged buildings were demolished.

The finds of each dig, possibly in their thousands, had been sitting in storage for the past four-and-a-half years.

About 100 of these were in the exhibit, which primarily targeted children.

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"We want them to understand a little bit about the history of Christchurch, and about archaeology too," Clarke said.

Notable inclusions in the exhibit were a collection of pipes, one with the bowl in the shape of a skull, a Frozen Charlotte doll — a small china doll popular in the 1800s — and a couple of old books found under a house in Ashburton demolished after the earthquakes.

The pop-up exhibit, at The Commons on Kilmore St, would be open every Sunday between 10am and 4pm, for eight weeks.

 - Stuff

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