Rare 134-year old Edison tubes from Brisbane’s first electricity grid. Lamont bottles dating back to the mid-1800s. Ceramics, bones and graffiti. The Queen’s Wharf development has unearthed many exciting insights into Brisbane’s past as it dramatically changes the city’s skyline for the future.
Urbis’ archaeologists, led by Associate Director Tina King, have provided heritage consultation on the city-shaping project. Most recently supervising the excavation and cleaning process of the rare tubes.
Speaking to The Courier Mail, Tina said, “There’s been interest (in the tubes) from around the world. We were the first place in the southern hemisphere to have these things.
“It shows we were ahead back then.”
Tina explains there have been a number of exciting discoveries.
“It’s still early days with Queen’s Wharf, but when we did testing around the heritage buildings in 2016 we found Lamont bottles dated to the mid-1800s made by Owen Gardner, who distributed aerated water from his premises in William Street from 1853. During the excavation of 1 William St, we found the flagstone floor of one the first buildings there, the 1854 Harris Warehouse, as well as one of Brisbane’s first Streets, Short Street, which ran between Margaret and Alice Streets, the first streets (buried) nearby. We’ve found wharves, wells, drains and artefacts like ceramics and animal bones.