London rail dig may have uncovered Roman remains

2013-10-03 08:37
Archaeologists begin dismantling the remains of an 18th century ship at the World Trade Centre construction site in New York. (Mark Lennihan, AP, file)

Archaeologists begin dismantling the remains of an 18th century ship at the World Trade Centre construction site in New York. (Mark Lennihan, AP, file)

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London - Construction workers digging tunnels for a new railway link under central London said on Wednesday they had found about 20 Roman skulls, the latest archaeological discovery to be made by builders on the project.

Archaeologists said it was possible the remains, found along the historic River Thames tributary, the River Walbrook, dated back to a rebellion by Queen Boudicca who led a revolt against the Roman occupation of Britain in the first century.

"This isn't the first time that skulls have been found in the bed of the River Walbrook and many early historians suggested these people were killed during the Boudicca rebellion against the Romans," said lead archaeologist Jay Carver.

"We now think the skulls are possibly from a known Roman burial ground about 50m up river from our Liverpool Street station worksite."

The tunnel workers found the skulls along with Roman pottery underneath the Bedlam burial ground, established in the 16th century, where 3 000 skeletons will be removed next year during excavation work for the £16bn ($24bn) Crossrail project, Europe's largest infrastructure project.

In March, archaeologists said they had found a graveyard which might hold the remains of 50 000 people killed by the "Black Death" plague more than 650 years ago.
Read more on:    archaeology

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