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A whale of a find

We discover

19 April 2023

Citycare Water teams sometimes come across interesting objects where they’re working in the country’s wastewater networks, and recently an exciting, historical find needed an archaeologist’s explanation.

Due to the history of the region, the wastewater pipe renewal project for Christchurch City Council in Duvauchelle, located at the head of the Akaroa Harbour, had an archaeologist on-site during excavation works.

What was unearthed by our Citycare Water Construction Team was identified as a whale vertebra. Nearby, Akaroa is the oldest town in Canterbury, and the earliest European settlers there established a whaling base which is likely why this unusual discovery came to be there.

Some other interesting finds include a whiskey bottle base, leather shoes, bottle glass and metal – all believed to have come from a creek filled in sometime in the 19th century.