The Walbrook, one of the lost rivers flowing beneath London’s streets, is a time capsule of Roman Londinium. For over 170 years, archaeologists have dug astonishingly well-preserved artefacts of the ancient city out of the waterlogged earth of the stream. A new display at the Museum of London, Working the Walbrook, uses this collection of tools and other everyday objects to examine what life was like for ordinary Roman Britons. Let’s hear from Owen Humphreys, whose research underpins the display.
Read the updated version of this article on the Museum of London’s new website.
This is the skeleton of a girl who was 14 years old when she died. She had blue eyes. She was born in north Africa, and lived in London for at least four years before her death and burial, on what is now Lant Street in Southwark. In her short life, she had suffered from rickets and gum disease, but she was healthy enough to grow to 5′ 3” by the time she died. We don’t know her name or exactly what she looked like – but that’s understandable, given that she lived in the Roman city of Londinium, over 1500 years ago.
Ground-breaking scientific research at the Museum of London has, for the first time ever, created a detailed “picture” of the inhabitants of Roman London. Using evidence “written” in their teeth, bones, DNA and burial, we’ve uncovered the extraordinary diversity of these ancient Londoners.
The Roman mid-winter festival of Saturnalia started on 17 December each year and lasted for seven days. In many ways the Roman festivities were similar to our modern Christmas traditions, featuring drinking, eating, decorating houses, present giving, singing and playing games. I wondered whether it would be possible to celebrate Saturnalia using objects from our Roman collections. I had a little hunt and here’s what I found… Read the full post
As the festival party season gets underway, our Archaeological Archive takes a look at some items concerning cuisine & dining throughout the ages Read the full post
People are going crazy for our latest blockbuster exhibition, Sherlock: The Man Who Never Lived & Will Never Die. Over at the Archaeological Archive, we’ve delved into the boxes to find some of the objects in our collection that over the years have posed peculiar puzzles for archaeologists to figure out.
The name on everyone’s lips at the Museum of London these past few months has most certainly been Sherlock. With the exhibition having just opened last week, our Archaeological Archive has been puzzling over a rather mysterious object that’s recently reared its head as part of the Unearthing South London project – A case most worthy of Sherlock himself, it’s the Mystery of The Roman Pottery Graffiti! Read the full post
Our current Unearthing London project is taking a look at the history of Beddington, which straddles the border of Croydon and Sutton. In my previous blog, we saw evidence of prehistoric activity; we went back 10000 years to a time when all that was there was a river channel; back 3000 years when settlers were engaged in animal husbandry; back 2000 years when Iron Age residents were building houses and living the domestic life. It’s time for the Romans… Read the full post