Rare find at Alstonville Bypass

ONCE upon a time, a shooter took aim at a target at Alstonville and missed.

But about 100 years later, or maybe more, it's been found - and it's a rare find indeed.

And it's all because of work on the Alstonville bypass.

Archaeologist Angela Besant, from Hunter Valley-based Insite Heritage, was called in to investigate a 120m by 20m area at the eastern end of the bypass work after a number of old bottles were found.

Ms Besant and her team of six spent a fortnight digging at the site and taking away historic items to be assessed by experts in Brisbane. The archaeological dig ended last week.

She said the find provided a snapshot of the past, with things like buttons, clothes, ink bottles, combs, bottles, toothpaste containers, serving utensils, crockery and bones from food scraps found at the site.

The most unusual find was an intact glass ball the size of an average Christmas bauble.

Ms Besant said she originally thought the glass object was a bottle.

But it was sent to Brisbane for assessment and the result was quite surprising.

The glass ball, it turns out, is a target that was flung into the air like a clay pigeon for shooters to aim at.

Ms Besant said there were many fragments of the same blue glass found at the site, so it's likely it may have been a regular spot for target practice.

She joked that because a pub called the Ocean View Hotel, built in 1896 and demolished in 1908, was located across the road from the dig site, maybe punters took shots at the targets from the veranda.

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