Crews uncover slew of historical artifacts in construction of Britain’s Crossrail commuter line

| August 21, 2013

An archaeologist uncovers a human skull at the construction site of the Crossrail commuter line in London. (Photo: Alastair Grant/AP)

An archaeologist uncovers a human skull at the construction site of the Crossrail commuter line in London. (Photo: Alastair Grant/AP)

While tunneling for the 13-mile underground section of Britain’s 73-mile, $23 billion Crossrail commuter line, crews uncovered about 2,000 years-worth of historical artifacts, according to a report from our sister site, Equipment World.

The crews found the artifacts about 16 to 20 feet below ground.

“This site is a rare, perhaps unprecedented opportunity,” Nick Elsden, a Museum of London archaeologist, told the AP. “This is a major roadway outside one of London’s busiest railway stations. You don’t get to dig that up normally.”

Among the discoveries are:

  • a chunk of Roman road

  • dozens of 2,000-year-old horseshoes

  • 17th-century jewelry

  • 68,000-year-old bones of reindeer, bison and mammoths

  • the remains of a Tudor manor house

  • medieval ice skates

  • an 800-year-old piece of ship

  • the foundations of an 18th-century shipyard

  • flint from a 9,000-year-old tool-making factory beside the Thames River

The remains of 20,000 people were also unearthed, along with the remains of victims of the Black Death, the plague that wiped out half of London’s population in 1348.

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