Founder / DIRECTOR


Katharine Watson

Katharine graduated from the University of Otago with a Master of Arts in Anthropology and is currently pursuing her PHD.

She was born and raised on the Canterbury plains where she continues to live today with her husband and two cats; Phileas and Fogg. The bulk of her professional career has been spent within the sphere of Canterbury based archaeology. 

The beginning of her career saw Katharine cut her teeth with a brief stint at the Canterbury Museum before making a go of it as a freelance archaeologist. 
As her expertise and network grew it was a natural progression to start her own company specialising in archaeology – Underground Overground Archaeology – playfully named after one of her favourite childhood BBC TV shows “The Wombles”.

Underground Overground grew rapidly and with the advent of the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 it expanded to encompass more than 15 staff based out of Christchurch. This put the company in an obvious position to lead the research and investigation into Christchurch’s past as many heritage buildings were lost and replaced.

Katharine’s ambition to make archaeology more accessible to the public led her to sell the company to pursue her academic interests and to start the Christchurch Archaeology Project which she now runs today as it’s founder and director.

She has travelled the world extensively giving talks in New Orleans, Washington D.C., Sydney and all across New Zealand to name but a few. She has been extensively published throughout Australasian and New Zealand archaeological journals and has received 2 awards for her work in the field; Public archaeology award, New Zealand Archaeological Association, 2012 and Highly qualified for the Canterbury Heritage Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Heritage (Christchurch uncovered blog), 2016.

Katharine also starred on the TV show ‘Heritage Rescue’ providing her expert opinion on all matters archaeology.