Wananga landing Wananga landing

What is archeology?

05 November 2023

There are many different ways to uncover the past. What makes archaeologists unique is that they study past cultures by looking at the things those people have made and left behind. Sometimes these objects are as big and solid as a temple or a house, at other times they can be as small and simple as a marble or a comb. Archaeology is especially valuable as a way of exploring the past when there are few written records we can refer to, or in the case of some ancient cultures, no written records at all.

An archaeological site can be any place that has been occupied or used by people in the past. The site could be a rubbish pit, a house, or it could be a whole town. Sometimes a site might have been used by several different cultures at different times. In New Zealand, archaeologists might excavate under modern city streets, and find evidence of original Maori settlement lying below. One day even your house could be an archaeological site.

The Arts Centre, (which now houses the Teece Museum), is an example of a large archaeological site right here in Christchurch. After the 2010 eathquakes, archaeologists from Underground Overground Archaeology worked with the Arts Centre Trust as they began to restore the buildings. Many of the artefacts that they uncovered hint at the early history of the buildings, which were originally constructed as the home of the University of Canterbury, (then known as Canterbury College).

Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.