The Royal Exhibition Building (REB) Western Forecourt Monitoring Phase assemblage consists of artefacts excavated during ground disturbance works to install an underground water tank. The archaeological monitoring excavations were carried out by Andrew Long and Associates in 2010.
The Western Forecourt of the REB previously housed a circular garden bed surrounded by a carriage way leading to the building’s western entrance. The REB was built for the Melbourne International Exhibition, 1880-1881. In the 1950’s the western forecourt was converted to an asphalt car park.
The 2010 excavations sampled 546 artefact fragments from contexts related to the garden beds. The majority of artefacts recovered were from nightsoil deposits, moved to Carlton Gardens as landfill. The deposits provide insight into the material culture of the people of greater Melbourne in the late 19th century. The artefacts uncovered were generally domestic in function, including table and tea wares, beer, wine and ginger beer bottles, clay pipes, and oyster shells.