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Unearth the mystery of the Havering Hoard in the Museum of London Docklands’ new exhibition opening Friday 11 September

10 September 2020

Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery
Museum of London Docklands
Fri 11 Sep 2020 – Sun 18 Apr 2021
Free with timed entry ticket to the museum

The largest Bronze Age hoard ever to be discovered in London, and the third largest in the UK, will be the focal point of Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery, the Museum of London Dockland’s new major exhibition opening Friday 11 September.

The exhibition will put the 453 tools, weapons and other objects that make up the entirety of the hoard on display to the public for the very first time. Displaying the hoard alongside objects from both the archaeological site itself and the museum’s collection, the exhibition digs deep into Bronze Age life during a time when the land where London now exists was a very different place.

Starting with the moment of discovery, Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery will take visitors on a journey back through time to explore the mysteries, myths and realities surrounding the hoard’s burial.
Highlights include:

  • All 453 never seen before objects from the Havering Hoard
  • Objects from the Museum of London’s permanent collection including Bronze Age crania showing evidence of blunt force trauma, telling a wider story of Bronze Age life thousands of years ago
  • Immersive photography and film projection recreating the experience of a Bronze Age landscape
  • A map from the Portable Antiquities Scheme displaying the location of more than 1,500 hoards across England and Wales helping to plot settlements on a wider scale
  • 3D renderings of some of the key objects from the hoard to allow closer examination including a terret ring, a sword fragment and a socketed axe head – all exceptionally rare examples of Bronze Age life
The design of the exhibition is arranged around the movement of the sun, its rise in the east and setting in the west, bringing the discovery of the Hoard to life. Starting with the moment the first object was found as the sun set late on a Friday evening in September 2018, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the wonder of uncovering such a significant find. Clues left by the hoard about the people who lived and worked in the area during the Late Bronze Age will be examined before exploring how connected their society was to Europe almost 3,000 years ago. Visitors will then find themselves back in the present day, with a chance to examine some of the objects in greater detail while finding out more about the people involved in the discovery of the Havering Hoard and the work that’s still to be done.

Kate Sumnall, Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of London, said: “We are excited to finally open the doors of Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery and invite our visitors to immerse themselves in everything from the landscapes of the Late Bronze Age period right through to the present day and the incredible moment of discovery. The Havering Hoard can tell us many stories about the people who lived and worked in London 3,000 years ago and we explore many of these in the exhibition. However, it also reinforces the importance of the archaeological process to our understanding of history. By highlighting the work of those involved, from the archaeological unit to the researchers and specialists, we hope to invite visitors behind-the-scenes and shine a new light on significant work taking place that you may not ordinarily see. As part of this process, we extend our thanks to Archaeological Solutions, Historic England and Havering Museum for their help in bringing the Havering Hoard to life.”

Further information: #HaveringHoard
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Notes for editors
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About the Museum of London Docklands
The Museum of London Docklands is located at West India Quay in east London. Opened in 2003, this grade one listed converted Georgian sugar warehouse specifically tells the story of the port, river and city – focusing on trade, migration and commerce in London.

The museum is open Monday – Friday 11.30am – 3.30pm and Saturday & Sunday 10am – 6pm and is FREE to all. Please book a free general admission ticket in advance of visiting the museum. You can explore the Museum of London Docklands with collections online – home to 90,000 objects with more added regularly.

About Archaeological Solutions Ltd
Archaeological Solutions Ltd (AS) is an independent archaeological contractor undertaking a broad range of archaeological services throughout East Anglia; the South-East including London, and nationwide as required. The archaeological investigations undertaken by AS range from large quarries and residential schemes, to infrastructure and small private developments. The company was established in 2003, from the former Hertfordshire Archaeological Trust, and continues today with a vision of operating within the commercial (construction) sector to investigate and realise the potential of British archaeology to inform academic research objectives and public knowledge.

About Historic England
Historic England is the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.
The Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service (GLAAS) is part of Historic England's London and South East Office and a Chartered Institute for Archaeologists' (CIfA) Registered Organisation. GLAAS advise planning authorities and developers on managing archaeological impact from development. GLAAS operate across Greater London (aside from Southwark and The City who have their own advisers) promoting understanding and enjoyment of our archaeological heritage through its protection, management and interpretation.

About the Havering Museum
Havering Museum, recently awarded Full Accreditation by Arts Council England, collects and preserves objects which record the incredible history of the area that is now the London Borough of Havering, making them accessible to a wide audience through exhibitions, events and activities, education programmes, publications, web pages, Facebook and Twitter. Apart from being the proud heritage hub of Havering, the Museum has developed a strong community identity, taking pride in the achievements of local people, providing a huge range of opportunities for engagement in its work through volunteering, research projects and many other activities including a full programme of events involving care homes, schools and youth organisations.

Archaeological Solutions were commissioned to investigate and record any archaeological remains at a site in Havering, as the site is within a known complex prehistoric landscape on the northern edge of the River Thames. The work was a planning requirement of Havering Borough Council, on the recommendation of Historic England's Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service (GLAAS). Excavation followed phases of earlier fieldwork after GLAAS identified the site as having high archaeological potential. All the archaeological work was agreed with and closely monitored by Historic England’s Greater London Archaeological Advisory Service (GLAAS), assisted by the London Portable Antiquities Scheme based at the Museum of London. The archaeological on-site investigation concluded in December 2018 with post-excavation analysis taking place throughout 2019 and 2020.