It’s that time of year again. Behold! Some of our favourite discoveries and images from 2015. It’s been an eventful twelve months.
Archaeology happened. Sites were surveyed, excavated, photographed, investigated, disseminated and ruminated upon. Clues were followed and mysteries unravelled. Adventures were had. Memories were made.
Kirsa learned not to let other people set the total station up for her, lest they make it too high and force her to stand on tip-toes. Image: K. Bennett.
We really brought the glamour back to archaeology this year. This site yielded our largest assemblage for the year and ended up being one of the most interesting sites we’ve investigated in Christchurch, encompassing entrepreneurship, early artefacts, political machinations and many other aspects of the city’s history. Image: K. Bone.
Archaeologists captured in the wild. This is one of our more recent excavations, which revealed a layer of burned artefact material across the site. Figuring out the story behind it is going to be fun. Image: C. Dickson.
In which Fran found a foundry floor and frantically forged ahead to figure out the foundations of her find. Image: H. Williams.
We did a lot of work in Lyttelton over the year, including a site that yielded a large collection of artefacts. It’s one of the more unusual ones we’ve worked on in a while, excavated as it was underneath a house that had been raised onto pylons above the archaeologists. Image: P. Mitchell.
Throwing shade. Image: K. Webb.
The Manchester Street fire tank! This was built in 1885 for the Fire Brigade and held 114,000 litres of water to be used by the brigade during their fire fighting endeavours. Image: H. Williams.
One of the more complicated houses we recorded in 2015. A house was built on the site in the 1860s, followed by a 13 room house built in 1871 by Wyatt the grocer, who lived there until the 1890s. Eventually, in 1893 the whole house was dismantled and rebuilt on 1890s foundations using some of the original 1871 material, leaving a mixture of 1871 and 1893 materials and styles in the house to baffle future archaeologists. Photo: P. Mitchell. Drawing: K. Webb.
The oldest building we recorded this year, a cottage constructed in 1851. Image: F. Bradley.
Sometimes, buildings archaeology can have strange effects on people. Case in point, all it takes to bring out a historian’s inner gangster is a little heritage related graffiti. Image: F. Bradley.
In which two muddy archaeologists prove themselves to be peace loving and a giant nerd. Image: K. Bone.
Many animals were encountered over the year, from cats and dogs to these curious goats. Image: H. Williams.
I already regret including this photo. Image: K. Bone.
Site work was just the tip of the iceberg. Discoveries were discovered. Exhibitions were exhibited. Analysts analysed things. Photographers photographed even more things. Researchers researched all the things. Need I go on?
A rather unusual walking stick, featuring a sheep foot masquerading as a handle, complete with small metal shoe at the hoof. This was found underneath the floorboards of a turn of the century house in the city. Image: J. Garland.
Part of a huge rubbish pit filled with bottles discovered in Rangiora. Quite an unusual assemblage, this one. Image: M. Hennessey.
An Italian Buildings patterned plate emerging from the earth. Image: J. Garland.
An inscribed brick, found to have possible connections to the great-great-grandfather of one of our archaeologists. Image: H. Williams.
Analysis got a little unconventional at times. We persevered. Image: J. Garland.
Beard analysis! Microscope also used to identify archaeological textiles. We do actually do some work on occasion. Image: Underground Overground.
Castanets! Or musical wooden owls, if you prefer. Image: J. Garland.
A Christchurch trade token, used as a form of substitute currency in the city in the 19th century, when actual currency was a bit scarce. These aren’t common finds at all. Image: J. Garland.
Many, many treasures were discovered through the delight that is Papers Past. This is both one of the more interesting stories we came across this year and one of the most recurring. The Mystery of the Severed Hand was, apparently, one for the storybooks. Image: Press 14/06/1905: 8.
This, on the other hand, is easily the most sexist thing we found this year. Fair warning, may induce speechlessness and incredulous laughter. Image: Observer 29/04/1882: 100.
Even more artefacts. A very tiny sample of the stuff we’ve worked with this year. Image: J. Garland.
We also held several exhibitions throughout the year, including the online ‘Pieces of the Past’ and ‘Boom or Bust’, shown here. Image: J. Garland.
It’s been quite the busy year, really. We need a nap, or we might fall over from exhaustion.
Whoops. Too late. Image: K. Bennett.
From everyone at Underground Overground, Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all! We’ll see you in 2016 (the blog will be back in February).