The Christchurch landscape contains within it the clues to long gone eras of the city’s history, from the centuries when Māori used the swamps of Ōtautahi to gather kai to the decades of European settlement, when horse-drawn carriages took the place of cars, long skirts and frock coats were all the rage, and Queen Victoria reigned supreme. Since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, archaeologists here have been uncovering and recording these traces of Christchurch’s early years and the people who used this landscape and made this city their home. Much of the excavation undertaken here over the last few years has related to the European colonial history of Christchurch and the artefacts excavated in the city tell a tale of changing styles and fashions, from the material culture of the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, as well as the stories of individual people themselves.
This display showcases some of that material culture and the way it changed through the different decades from 1850 until 1900
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