New construction projects: exciting because we’re getting something new and shiny, but also brilliant for archaeologists. So much stuff has been uncovered during the Crossrail dig, for example, that there’s an exhibition about it happening at the moment. And there’s much excitement over some bits of wood recently found in Plumstead.
But not just any bits of wood; ah, no. These are Bronze Age – meaning they’re from 3,500 years ago – and have tool marks in them. The dig was expecting to find evidence of an ancient transport route through London’s old marshlands and they believe these timbers are the remains of pathways that allowed our forebears to hunt and gather more widely. Or just simply to get around. It’s nice to think of Crossrail following such old transport needs, though we’d like to apologise to prehistoric Londoners for the late arrival of the train to Hanwell.
If you want to find out more, as well as going to the exhibition you can join in with a Twitter Q&A on Tuesday 9 October from 2pm, using #BisontoBedlam, with Crossrail’s lead archaeologist Jay Carver.
Fans of old stuff being dug up should also pay attention to what’s happening at Elephant and Castle, where 500 skeletons have been uncovered in a graveyard belonging to a church believed to date back to at least Norman times (though most of the bodies are much later).