NEWS

Crossrail Excavations At Farringdon Reveal Amazingly Preserved Artefacts

Some 10,000 objects have been found during the work.

22/02/2017 00:02

Excavations out at the new Crossrail site in London’s Farringdon have unearthed a number of remarkably well-preserved artefacts which give insight into Tudor life.

Rarely found Tudor textiles, leather and plant remains were excavated by Museum Of London Archaeology (MOLA) at the site of the rediscovered Faggeswell brook, that flowed past Charterhouse Square.

Such materials would usually have decayed due to oxygen but the wet ground conditions at the site meant that a number of items were found in an unusually good state.

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A selection of leather shoes discovered at the site
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A late 16th-century decorated child's slip-on shoe
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A late 16th-century horse harness strap, including tassels

The items were unearthed in 2013 and are now being documents in a new book, ‘Charterhouse Square: Black Death cemetery and Carthusian monastery, meat market and suburb’.

Sam Pfizenmaier, a senior archaeologist at MOLA and author of the book, said: “As well as uncovering physical evidence of the Black Death, one of the most significant events in world history which had such profound and far-reaching socio-economic consequences.

“From the clothes worn by noble families to waste created by butchers working at nearby Smithfield market, these finds paint a picture of London as a vibrant late 16th-century trade hub, similar to London of today.”

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Part of a late 16th-century three-part horse harness strap
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A 16th-century leather shoe
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A woven silk band, used for decorative trimming for fashionable clothes

Also found at the site were objects including ceramic wares, ranging from those fro everyday usage to high status items, as well as the spice Grains of Paradise, from West Africa.

Some of the finds are now on display in the Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands until September.

More than 10,000 objects have been unearthed since construction on Crossrail began in 2009.

The line, which will be called the Elizabeth line, will pass through 40 stations between Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

It is set to open in central London in December 2018.

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