Re­sults of Cross­rail ex­ca­va­tions in Lon­don go on dis­play

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ARCHAEOLOGICAL NEWS -

Tens of thou­sands of arte­facts have been dug up dur­ing work to cre­ate the 42km (26-mile) El­iz­a­beth Line, which runs from the east to the west of the cap­i­tal.

Since work be­gan in 2009, the Cross­rail project has un­der­taken one of the most ex­ten­sive ar­chae­o­log­i­cal pro­grammes in the UK, un­cov­er­ing thou­sands of arte­facts which shine a light on al­most ev­ery im­por­tant pe­riod of the cap­i­tal’s his­tory. With care­ful plan­ning, 20 sites were ex­ca­vated by ar­chae­ol­o­gists at lo­ca­tions where ven­ti­la­tion shafts were put in, where rail­ways en­tered tun­nels and where new ticket halls were to be built. Tun­nels were dug deep be­neath some of Lon­don’s busiest streets so as not to dis­turb im­por­tant foun­da­tions, but when these tun­nels reached the sur­face, an op­por­tu­nity arose to un­cover lay­ers of Lon­don’s his­tory. “We’ve man­aged to take a slice down through Lon­don but also across Lon­don,”

said Jackie Keily, the cu­ra­tor of the ex­hi­bi­tion at the Mu­seum of Lon­don Dock­lands.

The ma­jor­ity of these ob­jects, along with thou­sands of records, im­ages and plans are now part of the Mu­seum of Lon­don’s Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Archive and five hun­dred of the most ex­cit­ing ob­jects are go­ing on dis­play, ex­plor­ing 8,000 years of hu­man his­tory and re­veal­ing the sto­ries of Lon­don­ers rang­ing from Mesolithic tool mak­ers and in­hab­i­tants of Ro­man Lon­dinium to those af­fected by the Great Plague of 1665. Finds were dis­cov­ered in lo­ca­tions as di­verse as sub­ur­ban Plumstead in the south east, through Ca­nary Wharf, across to Liver­pool Street, Tot­ten­ham Court Road and end­ing in West­bourne Park and Ac­ton. Keily con­tin­ues “It’s been an amaz­ing project. To be able to ar­chae­o­log­i­cally take a slice through Lon­don east to west is pretty amaz­ing.”

The ob­jects from the ex­ca­va­tions will be on dis­play at the Mu­seum of Lon­don, Dock­lands un­til the 3 Septem­ber 2017.

The Cross­rail ex­ca­va­tions have taken a slice of an­cient Lon­don from east to west

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