The River Thames in prehistory
The River Thames has played a vital role in the development and story of London for the last 450,000 years. It is only 352 kilometres from source to sea, but throughout time it has shaped and re-shaped the local landscape. It has been used by humans as a highway, a boundary, a food store and a sacred stream.
In London today most of the Thames has artificial embankments, but in prehistory the river was wider and shallower, and probably flowed in a number of different channels.
It is a tidal river and in AD43 Roman London was founded at the point where fresh water met the incoming sea. To Julius Caesar the river was known as Tamesa – ‘the flowing one’.
- Introduction (this page)
- How did the Thames shape the landscape?
- What did prehistoric people eat?
- Was the Thames an important communication route?
- Did prehistoric people worship the Thames?
- Was the Thames a defensive barrier?
- Further information
Download 'The River Thames in prehistory' (PDF, 245KB)