Historic artefacts uncovered

27 June 2017

CBD and South East Light Rail construction crews have uncovered the remains of a nineteenth century drain and a number of artefacts during early investigation works in the southern end of the CBD.

Archaeological test excavations carried out on the east side of the intersection of Eddy Avenue, Pitt Street and Rawson Avenue in Haymarket exposed the remains of the sandstock brick sewer drain.

While only the bottom portion of the drain structure remained, some of the material which had built up within the drain after it had fallen out of use was still present.

The material included a low density of artefacts consisting of shards of bottle glass, sherds of ceramic, fragments of clay smoking pipes, animal bone and shell material. One notable find was the partially intact remains of a teacup.

The creamware cup features blue transfer print patterning on both the inside and outside, with an idyllic agricultural scene in the well of the cup depicting a young shepherd reading a book with sheep in the background. The cup was likely made in Britain and dates back to the mid-late nineteenth century.

In line with heritage requirements, the artefactual material found in the drain was recovered for further analysis. The drain was left in place and backfilled after it had been recorded in detail and a full archaeological report will now be completed by our heritage experts.

The find is one of a number of recent archaeological discoveries as part of the project, including a World War Two air raid shelter in High Cross Park and heritage footings buried under Devonshire Street in Surry Hills.