What lies beneath Dunedin Hospital? Workers are finding out

Work on the new Dunedin Hospital site is under way, with archaeologists working to preserve any artefacts they find amongst the rubble.

Excavation works have been undertaken on the footprint of the planned inpatient building this week.

Te Whatu Ora delivery of infrastructure and investment group director Monique Fouwler said a foundry, chocolate factory and sawmills were located on the inpatient building site in the past.

“The outpatient site sits above a section of town that was densely occupied by cottages and residential dwellings, whereas the inpatient building site was used for more industrial purposes.”

What lies beneath Dunedin Hospital? Workers are finding out

As the excavation work continues, significant historical artefacts are expected to be uncovered in the coming weeks.

An archaeological authority from Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is required for any instance where there is cause to suspect a recorded or unrecorded archaeological site may be affected.

The authority for the new Dunedin Hospital project requires archaeological monitoring and recording to be carried out.

Fouwler said a 280-tonne crane is currently creating a mat of recycled concrete from the Cadbury building demolition in place of freshly excavated soil.

It will provide a working platform for the piling rig later in the year.

Fouwler said the team will share what has been unearthed on the site once the team from Underground Overground Archaeology have completed their work.

A report documenting the work of the archaeologists and its contribution to the understanding of the history of Aotearoa will be submitted to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga once the work is complete.