The oldest wooden structure ever found along the Thames has been uncovered at Vauxhall. Timbers dating from around 4500 BC (two millennia before Stonehenge, for what it’s worth) were found in the foreshore mud last year. The spot is close to where the River Effra once emptied into the Thames, and the yellow Duck boats now potter in and out of the water beside the MI6 building.
The original purpose of the structure is unknown, but could be of huge interest to historians. ‘Londoners’ of the time are thought to have been nomadic hunter-gatherers, not given to constructing permanent buildings.
The archaeological inspection last February reportedly attracted the interests of MI6 security guards. The remains lie on the banks just beneath spook central and, according to the Guardian, the team’s tripod was mistaken for a grenade launcher.
The team will now return to the site at lowest tide for further study.