But it happens in New Zealand, and recently it's been happening a lot in Christchurch.
The earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 have led to significant discoveries about how people lived in 19th century Christchurch: the food they ate, the medicines they took and the toys children played with.
The artefacts we're finding during archaeological work in the city bring Christchurch's rich history to life - this is our city's story, our city's past and part of who we, as Christchurch residents, are today.
Through our news blog, we'll share our journey as we seek to understand more of this story and to learn more about life in 19th century Christchurch. The artefacts and sites discussed in our blog were excavated during archaeological work carried out as a requirement of either the Historic Places Act 1993 or the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014.
More information about this process, and about archaeology in New Zealand, can be found on the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga website.
Founder – Christchurch Archaeology Project (C.A.P.)