Roman rubbish reveals lost Londinium

By acollinson on 16 Jan 2017
Tools for gardening excavated from the Walbrook Stream area of Roman Londinium.

Tools for gardening excavated from the Walbrook Stream area of Roman Londinium.

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.

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Delivering the past: planning a plinth

By acollinson on 3 Oct 2016
Bronze age cooking pot, Roman amber gaming die and medieval token mould, on display in the Delivering the Past exhibition.

Bronze age cooking pot, Roman amber gaming die and medieval token mould, on display in the Delivering the Past exhibition.

A single archaeological site, excavated in 1975, provides a window into millennia of London’s past. Adam Corsini explores the fascinating former site of the General Post Office building, and explains how he designed the Delivering the Past display around it.

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Written in Bone

By Dr Rebecca Redfern on 26 Nov 2015

Read the updated version of this article on the Museum of London’s new website.

Skeleton on display at the Museum of London's Written in Bone exhibition.

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.

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Celebrating Saturnalia

By meriel jeater on 12 Dec 2014

Roman motto beaker of black colour-coated ware

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 postRead the full post

The Mystery of The Roman Pottery Graffiti

By adam corsini on 23 Oct 2014

Roman pot graffiti exteriorRoman pottery graffiti interior

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 postRead the full post

Unearthing South London: A place in the country

By adam corsini on 13 Oct 2014

Roman horse head  found down a wellEarly Roman glass beadRoman ceramic jar found down a well

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 postRead the full post