There is nothing Katharine Watson likes better than finding a load of old rubbish.
The Christchurch consultant archaeologist was on hand yesterday to search for artefacts under the foundations of the Canterbury Club's caretaker's cottage on Worcester Boulevard.
As part of the club's $5.5 million upgrade, the 19th century cottage had to be shifted 3m south and 2m north.
Watson took the chance to sift through the site, hoping to find some old rubbish.
"Really good rubbish dumps are what we're after," she said.
"Things like animal bones and china -- they tell us so much about what people were eating and drinking.
"From the relative value of china we can make assumptions about socio-economic groups and from a medicine bottle what was wrong with them."
However, the mother lode remained undiscovered.
Watson said she had more luck at the end of last year when examining another part of the site which was sold to Latitude Group for office space, to fund the bulk of the development.
"There were bits of Canterbury Club china, bits of chandeliers and wine glasses -- more wine glasses than I've ever seen. So they were living pretty well for those days."
Heritage consultant Jenny May said the cottage had been carefully boarded up before the move with loose material removed and all the windows taped up to ensure it made the short trip in one piece. Once resited the loose material will be restored to the cottage.
May said three original Victorian panes of glass still remain in the cottage.
Canterbury Club general manager David Cartwright said the building that would link the cottage and the old clubhouse would be ready by September.
- The Press