8,000 artefacts and rising: City dig pronounced the most important ever in London
2013-04-09 0:00

By Nick Clark | The Independent



Archaeologists have nicknamed the site the Pompeii of the North

When archaeologists were called to a site in the City of London where an ugly office block and a bar once stood, they were sceptical that it held any secrets.


Yet six months into the dig on Bloomberg Place, a three-acre site close to Mansion House tube station, experts believed they have stumbled across the most important find of Roman London artefacts in recent memory and have dubbed it the Pompeii of the north.

Sophie Jackson, from the Museum of London Archaeology (Mola), is managing the site. She said: We have a huge amount of stuff from the first four hundred years of London. It will tell us so much about the people of London. We will get names and addresses, things weve never had before. Its really exciting.

Archaeologists have so far discovered 8,000 objects and expect that to rise to 10,000 by the time the project is finished. These include writing tablets, clothing, jewellery and pottery as well as parts of buildings that will help build a picture of thriving London life from around 40 AD to the fifth century.






Lead or tin plaque depicting a bull. This could be a representation of the zodiac symbol Taurus



Bone fist and phallus amulet. Both the phallus and the hand making a manu ficu, an obscene gesture were considered to be symbols of good luck by the Romans used for warding off the evil eye


Ms Jackson said: Why the site is so incredibly important is the preservation of archaeological finds which are normally decayed, or lost or destroyed on other sites. The reason many of the objects are so well preserved is that one of Londons lost rivers, the Walbrook River, ran under the site, with the damp conditions preserving the objects.

Michael Marshall, Roman find specialist at Mola, said the findings would completely transform understanding of Roman London. There are very few civilian sites. This is the largest assemblage discovered in London.

Bloomberg is building its new headquarters on the site and in late 2010 started demolition of Bucklersbury House, build in 1952.

It was that original development which made the discovery of the Temple of Mithras on the site that had led the archaeologists to believe there would be little of historical value left.

Ms Jackson said: We thought that construction had removed all the archaeology on the site. We thought: What a shame, its all gone. Then we found that around the edges, archaeology survives.

Yet, the newly uncovered treasures include 250 leather shoes, writing tablets that may give clues to names and addresses of Roman Londoners, as well as several items never seen before.

This included a stitched leather furnishing never before seen in Roman discoveries and an amber amulet in the shape of a gladiators head.

Over 150 fragments of writing tablets have been discovered in one room - in what was described as similar to finding an abandoned filing cabinet - with information written on or scratched into them about people who lived in London at the time.

Archaeologists expect to double the number of names known in London to over 30, although nothing is certain. Mr Marshall said: Its an amazing accident when the text survives.

Ms Jackson added: These are really exciting; there are only 14 references to London in all of Roman literature.

[...]

Read the full article at: telegraph.co.uk



Extensive Gallery of Site and Artifacts






Related Articles
Send for the bard! Carnyx discovery leaves archaeologists little the wiser
Mysterious bear figurines baffle archaeologists
Theif caught with 863 ancient artifacts from various archaeological sites
Oldest Roman Hairstyle Recreated for First Time
Newbie with Metal-Detector Finds One of UKs Largest Roman Coin Hoards, Worth 100,000
Roman sarcophagus found in unlikely place
Life and Death: Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition
Museum of London Archaeology Site
Sunken Treasure: Egyptian Artifact Find Is Largest Nautical Collection From the Ancient World
Top 10 Plundered Artifacts


Latest News from our Front Page

No Jab, No Pay reforms: Religious exemptions for vaccination dumped
2015-04-20 20:03
Religious exemptions for childhood vaccinations will be scrapped to toughen Australia’s new “no jab, no pay’’ laws stripping welfare from parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Social Services Minister Scott Morrison revealed he is dumping the last remaining exemption on the books after holding talks with religious leaders. Just a week after The Sunday Telegraph revealed Mr Morrison was scrapping exemptions ...
Inside David Lynch: An Esoteric Guide to Twin Peaks
2015-04-20 18:24
‘I learned that just beneath the surface there’s another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper.’ – David Lynch If you’ve ever sensed the flimsy, thin veneer of what parades itself as the good ole US of A, and felt a bit like you’ve been sold a fake, then David Lynch’s Twin Peaks is a series you must see. ...
Third-gender toilet sign – now a reality in Sweden
2015-04-20 18:29
If you don’t identify yourself as a man, a woman or are officially handicapped — where should you go to relieve yourself? In Sweden, the social justice warriors have solved the problem by inventing a third-gender toilet sign. A couple of years ago, the Swedish language was introduced to a new personal pronoun, “hen“, to replace gender specific hon (she) and ...
Feminist goes crazy when compared to Swedish nationalist
2015-04-20 4:56
A picture of a media acclaimed feminist next to a young nationalist girl got real big attention in Swedish media last week. It is “hate” and “mockery” to show the difference between the two, according to the collective Swedish press. When the young nationalist Hanna Lindholm (member of the Sweden Democratic Youth) published a picture on internet, where she compared ...
Massive pollution scandal in Norwegian fjord
2015-04-20 4:53
The Norwegian government today gave the green light to one of the biggest single instances of pollution in the country's history. A new mine will dump its toxic tailings directly into the Førde fjord in the west of Norway. "It is shocking that Norway is the only country in the world allow new projects of this kind", said Lars Haltbrekken of ...
More News »