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8 August 2013
Evidence of human presence on Thames in 7,000 BCE

Rare evidence that humans lived on the River Thames (England) 9,000 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists working on the Crossrail project. A Mesolithic tool-making factory featuring 150 pieces of flint was found at the tunnelling worksite in Woolwich.
     Archaeologists said prehistoric Londoners were using the site to prepare river cobbles which were then made into flint tools. Crossrail lead archaeologist Jay Carver said: "This is a unique and exciting find that reveals evidence of humans returning to England and in particular the Thames Valley after a long hiatus during the Ice Age. It is one of a handful of archaeology sites uncovered that confirms humans lived in the Thames Valley at this time. The concentration of flint pieces shows that this was an exceptionally important location for sourcing materials to make tools that were used by early Londoners who lived and hunted on Thames Estuary islands."
     Starting in 2018, Crossrail will link Maidenhead, Berkshire, in the west to Shenfield, Essex, and Abbey Wood, south-east London, in the east.

Edited from BBC News, LBC.co.uk (8 August 2013)

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