Archaeologists from MOLA excavating the site of the new United States embassy in Vauxhall, in South London, have discovered evidence of prehistoric activity.
A flint tool dating to the Palaeolithic Period, approximately
700,000-10,000 BC, could be one of the earliest objects found in London.
Other Mesolithic (10,000-4,000 BC) and Bronze Age (2,000-600 BC) tools
were also found.
London has a long and rich history, which is often attributed as
having begun with the arrival of the Romans. The site in South London
was once a river consisting of smaller channels with sandy and gravelly
islands in between. Some of the islands were large enough and dry enough
for prehistoric people to settle on. The fertile, marshy banks provided
access to rich food sources and were a perfect hunting ground for
Kasia Olchowska, one of our Senior Archaeologist, said: “What we have
found may be the earliest archaeological evidence currently known from
London. It will be interesting to see how this evidence relates to other
prehistoric structures on the nearby Thames foreshore. We hope to be
able to reconstruct and have a better understanding of the prehistoric
landscape of a much wider area than at present.”
The flint tools found at the United States Embassy site are a rare
discovery. In a City that has seen so much development, these fleeting
glimpses of prehistoric people rarely survive. Further analysis of the
flint tools needs to be carried out by our specialists to establish firm
dates and learn more about their production and use.
Other discoveries on the site include a prehistoric fish trap, approximately 12 metres long, and evidence for camp fires. museumoflondonarchaeology.org.uk
Link 2: Archaeologists may have found earliest evidence of human life in London