Hidden Worlds

Glimpses from below Haven; Home, Safe’s Bendigo office

In 2009, during the excavation required to move our Bendigo office from View Steet to our current location in Forest Street, a fascinating discovery was unearthed.

This discovery became an exhibition of artefacts at the Bendigo Post Office Gallery, from February 10 – June 24, 2012.

Titled Hidden Worlds, the exhibition offered a peek into the archaeological discovered on our new site.

Intensively occupied since the first gold rush, the site yielded a wealth of buried archaeological evidence offering great insights into the public and private lives of past generations who inhabited the site. Beneath layers of dirt, archaeologists came upon a complex layering of timber, brick and stone building foundations. As they continued to dig, they uncovered vast amounts of whole and broken domestic items discarded, lost and forgotten by their owners.

For five weeks, passers-by in Forest Street could stand on one side of a cyclone fence and watch a team of archaeolgists.

On the other side of the fence, more than 150 years of Bendigo’s history was being uncovered.

More than 4000 artefacts were unearthed and have been conserved and stored by Heritage Victoria for posterity.

Items uncovered included crockery, bottles and glassware from the public rooms of the site’s hotel accommodation and boarding houses, in addition to personal items such as tea sets, chamber pots, ointment jars, hair combs and children’s toys, hinting at the lives of nineteenth century Bendigo citizens.

Information courtesy of the Post Office Gallery, 51-67 Pall Mall Bendigo.
The extended publication titled “Hidden Worlds: glimpses from Bendigo’s Forest Street archaeological excavation” detailing both the archaeological background the 2012 exhibition is available from the venue.