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Archaeology at North Woolwich

Crossrail archaeologists discovered rare evidence of humans living on the Thames 9,000 year ago, in southeast London.

The discovery of a Mesolithic ‘tool-making factory’ which included 150 pieces of flint, among them blades, were found at Crossrail’s tunnelling worksite in North Woolwich.

89990_Archaeologist Danny Harrison holds 9,000 year old piece of flint discovered at North Woolwich

Archaeologists believe prehistoric Londoners were using the site to test, divide and prepare river cobbles used to make flint tools, before transporting them to another site to complete the tool-making process.

This is a unique and exciting find that reveals evidence of humans returning to England and in particular the Thames Valley after a long hiatus during the Ice Age. It is one of a handful of archaeology sites uncovered that confirms humans lived in the Thames Valley at this time.

89991_Archaeologist Jason Stewart uncovering 9,000 year old flint at North Woolwich site

The concentration of flint pieces shows that this was an exceptionally important location for sourcing materials to make tools that were used by early Londoners who lived and hunted on Thames Estuary islands.

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