Victoria will undertake one of the largest archaeological digs as part of its Melbourne Metro Tunnel project.
The corner of Swanston and La Trobe streets have undergone building demolition and are now clear to become the site of an archaeological dig to uncover the city’s earliest history deep below the surface.
An initial archaeological assessment of the ground conditions is being prepared to determine the digging approach and predict what might be found.
Historians and archaeologists expect to find a large collection of artefacts at each site dating back more than 180 years, when John Batman first settled Melbourne.
Work will be underway across seven sites in the CBD, with three additional sites expected later this year on Little La Trobe Street.
Researchers are eager to see what artefacts may be uncovered in one of the city’s most well-known strips and what it reveals about Melbourne’s history.
Uncovered artefacts will be cleaned and analysed to better understand how Melbourne’s early settlers lived and how Melbourne has developed as a city.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said the Victorian Government’s Metro Tunnel Project will transform the face of the city.
“These archaeological digs will be the biggest in Victoria’s history and are expected to uncover a large collection of artefacts dating back to the days of Melbourne’s earliest settlers,” Ms Allan said.