Europe’s largest infrastructure project is a 42 km rail tunnel, the Crossrail. It has turned into archaeologist’s dream by unveiling city’s historically most important sites to the archaeologists. The London Crossrail project was started in 2009. Since the beginning, it is under the supervision of a most extensive network of archaeological programmers. These archaeologists have unearthed city’s historical layers and discovered more than 10000 artefacts dating thousands of years back.
“London really is like a layer cake of history of the city from the Roman levels through the medieval, the only modern period into the more recent centuries,” Jay Carver, lead archaeologist for Crossrail
Latest discovered artefacts are dated back to 16th-century. These include ice skates made of animal bones, bowling ball, and a Roman pot, which holds cremated remains. Other findings include late 19th-century ginger and jam jars and Roman iron horse shoes. Some other artefacts include Prehistoric flints, Human skeletons, and Medieval animal bone skates.
The artefacts reveal stories of Londoners from Mesolithic tool makers and inhabitants of Roman Londinium to those affected by the Great Plague of 1665. Discovered in diverse locations such as suburban Abbey Wood in the south-east, through Canary Wharf, across to Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road and ending in Westbourne Park and Acton, the findings of the London Crossrail project, help the archaeologists explore a vast period of 8000 years of London’s history. Historians are trying to understand the living style of people of the past from these artefacts.
“The Crossrail project has given archaeologists a rare opportunity to study previously inaccessible areas of London. This exhibition will bring together some of our oldest and oddest finds, and help us bring the stories of 8,000 years of London’s hidden history to light.” Crossrail Lead Archaeologist, Jay Carver
‘From east to west, the Crossrail project has dug through layers of London’s rich history, unearthing a wealth of fascinating stories and objects. The exhibition will take us on a journey from prehistoric forests and marshes to the marvels of 21st-century engineering. It will include objects illustrating the human history of London, from Mesolithic times over 8000 years ago, to the 20th century. Crossrail has enabled us to discover new and exciting stories of London which will be the centrepiece of this exhibition.’ Jackie Keily , Curator of archaeological collections at the Museum of London.
Free exhibitions in The Museum of London Docklands daily from 10am to 6pm display the discoveries of London Crossrail project. Visitors can have a fascinating insight into the history of London through the archaeology of the crossrail. It also provides the Londoners with a glimpse of the future of London city. The name of railway railway will be the Elizabeth Line and is due to open in 2018.