Soda bottles, poppy-patterned plates and a smoker's pipe of a monkey are just a few of the thousands of artefacts being pulled from Invercargill’s old city centre.
“We’ve got a lot of bottles. I think they used to drink a bit in Invercargill back in the day,” grinning project director Geoffrey Cotton said.
Demolition of the town centre is almost complete, with archaeologists working alongside the diggers to uncover hidden gems.
Many of the artefacts are being found in old wells, where former residents dumped their rubbish.
Archaeologist Megan Lawrence said the collectibles came from a range of industries.
“There were hotels, there were butchers, drapers, looking at confectioneries, photographers, even boot makers,” she said.
While there are many intriguing discoveries, one of a smoker's pipe is definitely a favourite for Ms Lawrence.
The pipe depicts a monkey in a head rest, which she says is a rare find.
“We think it might be associated with a rich bank manager or something like that, you never know.”
Many of the artefacts will go on display when the CBD is rebuilt, which is estimated to be finished by the end of 2022.