Crossrail Archaeological Artifacts Available Online


Roman coin unearthed during Crossrail construction.

A new virtual version of the exhibition Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail at the Museum of London Docklands gives people the chance to explore the huge array of artifacts unearthed by Crossrail during construction of the Elizabeth line. The immersive website has been created using a series of 360-degree panoramic images from the exhibition.

The online exhibition takes visitors on a journey along the route of the new railway, with photographs and footage captured during archaeological excavations revealing the stories of Londoners ranging from Mesolithic tool makers and inhabitants of Roman Londinium to those affected by the Great Plague of 1665.

Ten brand new rotating images have also been released, letting visitors get closer than ever to some of the project’s most exciting discoveries, including:

  • 8,000-year-old flint scraper tool from Woolwich
  • Roman cremation urn, disarticulated skull and bronze coin from Liverpool Street
  • Tudor wooden bowling ball from Stepney Green
  • Crosse & Blackwell marmalade jar from Tottenham Court Road
  • 16th Century ceramic mercury jar from Stepney Green
  • 18th Century Chinese Pearlware bowl from Stepney Green
  • 19th Century glass bottle from Pudding Mill Lane

The construction of the Elizabeth line, London’s newest railway opening in 2018, has given archaeologists a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore some of the capital’s most historically significant, but normally inaccessible, sites. Since work began in 2009, archaeologists have uncovered more than 10,000 artefacts spanning 55 million years of the city’s history.

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Jay Carver, Crossrail Lead Archaeologist, said: “The Crossrail project has given archaeologists a unique opportunity to look at important areas of London that have been tantalizingly out of reach for centuries. This fantastic immersive website uses the best of the photo and video content captured during the excavations to let people explore over 8,000 years of the capital’s hidden history.”

Many of the artifacts unearthed by Crossrail are brought together for the very first time in a major exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands, entitled Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail. Open until Sept. 3, 2017, the exhibition takes visitors on a site-based journey, following the map of the new Elizabeth line from east to west, exploring 8,000 years of human history.

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