A routine sewage pipe replacement in Ballarat in the state of Victoria, Australia, led to archaeologists discovering a treasure trove of more than a thousand gold rush artifacts, many belonging to a mid-19th century Chinese community.

European pottery and bottles were found along with medicine vials stamped with Chinese characters. Well preserved fig jars, coins, tokens and imported Chinese porcelain was also found.

The dig’s success is rivaled only by an excavation in Forest Street, Bendigo, which uncovered remains of houses and an inn with an intact cellar with champagne, beer and wine bottles. ielded remains of houses and an inn, an intact cellar and champagne, beer and wine bottles.

What could be Australia’s biggest archaeological dig begins midyear at the Carlton and United Breweries site in the city of Melbourne. These digs are part of an archaeological boom experiencing exponential growth in the past 10 years.

Click on the link to The Edge to read the complete article published on Monday January 10, 2011. It’s still January 9, 2011 here in the U.S so it’s hot off the press.

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