Crossrail Crosses Bones

By Lindsey Last edited 108 months ago
Crossrail Crosses Bones

MoL archaeologists at work
Wellcome's Skeletons exhibition last year reminded us of our constant proximity to the dead and buried and last week, Crossrail was reminded of this, as human remains were discovered near the site of the future Farringdon station, possibly from 200-300 years ago.

The risk that ancient bones harbour biohazards is run everyday by those who tunnel beneath our streets but, as always, Museum of London archaeologists were on hand to swoop in with protective suits and carry off the bones for analysis. Work on the site is suspended while the remains are tested by the Health Protection Agency for anthrax and bubonic plague as well as being more generally examined and dated by the archaeologists, potentially to add to their bone archives, which we're dying to explore.

We hope Crossrail have built plenty of contingency into their project timescale because if a solitary subterranean bore hole discovery halts work imagine what'll happen when they really start to burrow.

Osteology fans, take note: the life and times of a bone washer.

Last Updated 12 May 2009

Alick Whitfield

Work has restarted at the Crossrail Charterhouse Street site following the unearthing of a small number of bone fragments during preparatory ground investigation works.

Crossrail informed the Police, local coroner and the Museum of London Archeological Service (MOLAS). Work on the site was as you say, suspended while MOLAS examined the fragments, which are thought to be around 200 years old, and sent them to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) for testing. These tests returned negative results.

Following the all clear from the HPA work restarted at the site and the stoppage has had no bearing on the overall delivery programme for Crossrail.