WATCH: Bottles, ceramics and shoes are among artifacts uncovered at the Johnson Street Bridge construction site. Isabelle Raghem reports.
Ginger beer bottles, ceramics and shoes were among the hidden gems discovered thanks to the construction of Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge.
It’s been a site associated with years of delays and issues, but it’s been a treat for archeologists.
“[The construction] opened up a really large area which we don’t always get in archaeology in Victoria”, said UVic archeology professor Katherine Cook on Saturday.
Digging began prior to reconstruction in 2013 when artifacts were discovered in the process.
Several artifacts were buried underground for over a century, like a Thorpe & Co. ginger beer bottle from the 1890s.
“It relates to early Victorian brewing and certainly didn’t have to go very far to get in the ground and get deposited back into the archeological records for us to find,” added Cook.
Artifacts from the Johnson Street Bridge site and others discovered at two other construction sites were displayed Saturday during a one-day exhibit at the Royal BC Museum. A building site on Songhees land and one in Esquimalt’s Harbour are also being used for displays.
The pop-up exhibit was a collaboration between the museum, the University of Victoria and about 30 of its students.
“This is my home city [so] it was really nice to go through a lot of the history in a way I hadn’t seen it before,” said UVic anthropology and history student Alexa Dagan.
“We all have different sets of knowledge from our past and the more we come together to talk about things like this the more we get out of it,” Cook said.