Delivering the Past: new archaeological exhibition opens at the Museum of London

9 September 2016

Delivering the Past

Museum of London

9 September 2016 – 8 January 2017

FREE exhibition

The Museum of London’s latest temporary exhibition examines the most prized archaeological finds from a 1975 excavation of the General Post Office on Newgate Street, one of the largest archaeological sites ever dug in London.

Entitled Delivering the Past, the exhibition showcases objects spanning a 3,000 year period, from the Bronze Age to the 20th century, revealing how the lives of Londoners have changed over the course of the capital’s incredibly rich and varied history.

In addition to the exhibition, every weekday from 12 September visitors will be able to handle a selection of objects from the General Post Office site and help to archive pieces of animal bone into the museum’s collection. Enthusiastic participants can also choose to sign up as a regular volunteer to assist with the archiving project in November and December this year.

Star objects in the Delivering the Past exhibition include:

  • A 19th/20th century ceramic fragment with General Post Office branding
  • The only twisted clay tobacco pipe to have been excavated in London, popular in Victorian times (19th century)
  • A 17th century Bellarmine beer bottle, an object which was widely imported from Germany in the 1600s
  • An unusual late medieval ceramic mould for making small metal tokens, thought to have been used as low-value coinage in trading (16th century)
  • A rare amber die from Roman times, an object which was usually made from animal bone
  • An 1,800-year-old dog skull (Roman)
  • A Roman chicken pelvis
  • Everyday items made from animal bones including a Roman spoon, a medieval ice skate and a Victorian toothbrush
  • A photograph of a young male skeleton uncovered from the cemetery at St Nicholas Shambles, the first major medieval burial ground of 234 individuals to be excavated by London archaeologists which led to new ways of recording human remains
  • Roman mortaria with the maker’s names of Albinus, Sollus and Cassarius stamped on the side
  • Floor tiles and architectural fragments from the parish church of St Nicholas Shambles, dating back to the 1100s

The Museum of London will also be offering free 45-minute walks to notable excavation sites around Newgate Street, every weekday at 1:30pm until the end of October. Delivering the Past opens on 9 September 2016 and will run until January 2017.

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