PHOTO CALL: 6000 years of industriousness in the Lea Valley
19 July 2012, 9 - 10am
Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN.
Artefacts unearthed by archaeologists ahead of the construction of the Olympic Park are coming home to the Museum of London. One of the star objects is a flint axe dating to 4000BC. Someone living in the Lea Valley 6000 years ago deliberately placed the axe in a stream – perhaps as an offering to the gods. Polished axes would have been used in the Lea Valley at this time to clear woodland for farming. The axe would look a little out of place in the tool box of a builder on the Olympic Park but provides evidence of a long history of industriousness in the Lea Valley.
The area has a long been used by humans, from prehistoric round houses to Roman farming land and the last few years are no exception. On the 19 July, Danny Murphy, a site engineer from Bam Nuttall who has been working on the construction of the Olympic Park, will be given the opportunity to handle the prehistoric axe. Danny will be holding a tool used by someone to fell trees in the very place where the Olympic Park now stands, some 6000 years later. This axe is just a glimpse into the historic legacy the 2012 Games offer London.
- Olympic Park site engineer, Danny Murphy from Bam Nuttall, holding the axe c.4000BC found during excavation work prior to the construction of the Park.
- Curator, Caroline McDonald, examining the prehistoric axe found on the Olympic Park, as it enters the Museum of London’s collection.
Archaeological work by Museum of London Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology began in 2004. The site, an area as large as the City of London, is the largest redevelopment of London in modern times. Findings from the excavation and built record work are amazingly diverse, including Neolithic ritual activity; Roman riverbank revetments and Bronze Age field systems; 19th century railways and canals; medieval mills and WW2 defensive structures. Without the construction of the Olympic Park the history of the Lea Valley would still lie undiscovered.
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