|10 March 2009
4,000-year-old axe unearthed in London
A flint axe over 4,000 years old was the highlight of a crop of discoveries during a two-year archaeological investigation into the past of the Olympic Park in London (England). Over 140 trenches were dug on the 2.5km2 Olympic Park in the UK's largest ever archaeological investigation.
The unfinished axe, which archaeologists believe was deliberately placed in waterlogged ground, was among several items found during Britain's largest ever search. Others included four prehistoric skeletons buried in graves around an Iron Age settlement, a Roman coin, Roman river walls, medieval and Neolithic pottery, Second World War gun emplacements, and a complete 19th century boat used for hunting wild fowl on the lower River Lea.
The Olympic Park is being built on a former industrial site in east London. "We now know that the Olympic Park area was settled and utilised continuously from the prehistoric period onwards," said Museum of London Archaeology Senior Archaeologist Kieron Tyler. "These people lived and died here. This new story of the Lea valley is London before London - a previously unknown London."
Sources: BBC News, Contract Journal, Mail Online (5 March 2009), Reuters, Yahoo! Sport (6 March 2009)
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