One thousand human teeth are among the discoveries unearthed by archaeologists working at a dig site in Melbourne’s CBD.
The teeth were found at one of the $11 billion Metro Tunnel Project’s digs on Swanston St, and are thought to have been left behind by a dentist and surgeon who worked at the location in the early 20th century.
The archeological project – which is three months into its six-month dig – has uncovered more than half a million artefacts, with more findings being discovered every day.
Many of the teeth, mainly belonging to adults, reportedly showed significant signs of decay, often with root exposure and visible stain marks.
Experts suggest the patients would have suffered greatly having their teeth removed and that the practice was likely removing more teeth than it was repairing.
“We think he wasn’t that good at discarding teeth in a hygienic fashion,” excavation director Megan Goulding told Channel Nine.
“He probably flushed them down toilets or the basin.”
More than 1000 teeth and half a set of dentures have been found at no. 11 Swanston Street! No, not a grisly discovery, but the remains of a former dentistry practice that belonged dentist and surgeon JJ Forster 😬. The items – which also include a tooth with a gold filling – are thought to date between 1898 to 1930, and were found throughout the yard and within an iron plumbing pipe, probably flushed down a drain.
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A man by the name of JJ Forester opened a dentist practice on Swanston St in 1898.
The Metro Tunnel Project is located between the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets, and the corner of La Trobe and Swanston streets.
Also uncovered in the dig are several 1720-1820 gambling items – including at least 20 dice made from cattle bone or ivory – on a plot of land that was formerly occupied by a hotel.