Drybread was a gold rush-era settlement at the foot of the Dunstan Mountains in the upper reaches of the Manuherikia Valley.
The township developed in about about 1862 but only 10 years later there were only a few buildings left at the site.
Most of the buildings would have been simple mud-brick structures, Southern Archaeology director Dr Peter Petchey said.
” . . . there was no timber up here, so people weren’t really building in wood.”
When wood was available it was expensive and hard to get, so any timber structures were likely to have been lightweight, with canvas.
Early gold rush structures were likely to be lightweight and ephemeral, he said.
Later on corrugated iron was sometimes used on more substantial mudbrick houses.
The settlement was short-lived as the gold-rush moved on.