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Roman skulls headline new Crossrail archaeology exhibition

By Krista Eleftheriou

Roman skulls headline new Crossrail archaeology exhibition

Crossrail will display more than 50 archaeology objects to the public for the first time, including skulls from Roman London, after an exceptional year of discoveries on Britain’s largest archaeology programme.

A Roman cremation pot (which contained remains when discovered), flint used by Londoners 9,000 years ago and 16th Century jewellery are just some of the finds that will be on display at Crossrail’s Portals to the Past free exhibition from 15 February to 15 March.

The exhibition comes as Crossrail reaches the half way point in its construction with the £14.8 billion project on budget and on schedule to open in 2018.

Crossrail’s archaeologists will be providing a Portals to the Past lecture each Wednesday evening, discussing:

  • The Urban Realm - Buildings archaeology by Julian Munby from Oxford Archaeology, 19 February;
  • Crisis and The Black Death by Sam Pfizenmaier from MOLA, 26 February;
  • Beyond the City Walls, Recent finds from Liverpool Street  Station by Alison Telfer from MOLA, 5 March;
  • London's Last Great Shipbuilder - The Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company by Danny Harrison, MOLA, 12 March.

Crossrail lead archaeologist Jay Carver said: “The past year has delivered some exceptional finds across central London. We have encountered early Londoners through the discovery of a suspected 14th Century Black Death Plague burial ground and a highly unusual group of Roman skulls buried deep within one of London’s lost rivers. We have tracked down evidence for a rare Mesolithic hunting group in the Thames Marshes and made further investigation at the site of London’s greatest Victorian shipbuilding yard. One of the things that is so unusual for an archaeology exhibition like this is that the finds are so diverse, from pretty much every important period of London’s history.”

Portals to the Past will be held at the Crossrail Visitor Information Centre behind Centre Point at 6-18 St Giles High Street, WC2H 8LN. It will be open to the public, Tuesday to Saturday from 11am, no booking necessary.

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About Crossrail

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 38 stations and run more than 100 km (62 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.