During excavations at Plumstead Portal in 2012, Crossrail uncovered tantalising fragments of life in the Bronze Age. Several wooden stakes and a stone hammer tool showed that ancient Britons were accessing and exploiting the landscape resources of the floodplain.
The Bronze Age finds include a hammer stone used as a tool and two wooden stakes that have been shaped into points by early London hunters with an axe.
Similar timbers we know were used by Bronze Age people to provide an extensive access network of raised wooden walkways across the Thames marshes.
A large network of timber pathways were constructed in the Bronze Age across east London. Archaeologists think that these would have allowed easier access for hunters to the rich wildlife that lived on the lush wetlands some 3,500 years ago.
This is a very significant find and the first Bronze Age find on the Crossrail project. We know from other sites nearby that this area was probably crisscrossed by a network of pathways. As excavation works for the Plumstead tunnel portal got underway our archaeologists uncovered several wooden stakes and at least two that appear to have cut marks from a metal axe.
The Bronze Age finds are currently being analysed by the Museum of London Archaeology.
The discovery was made during excavations at the Plumstead portal - Crossrail's tunnel entrance in south east London, the site where two tunnel boring machines were launched to construct Crossrail’s Thames Tunnels.