Discovering 20 Roman skulls at a building site? It’s all in a day’s work for Crossrail.
Construction workers have removed human skulls and Roman pottery, found in the sediment of the historic river channel of the River Walbrook.
The skulls were found below the 16th century Bedlam burial ground from where 3,000 skeletons will be removed in archaeological excavations next year.
This is not the first time Roman skulls have been found in London. Over the years, many skulls have been discovered along the River Walbrook leading to speculation that Queen Boudicca’s rebels decapitated heads during the rebellion against Roman occupation in the 1st Century AD.
Lead archaeologist Jay Carver said:
“This is an unexpected and fascinating discovery that reveals another piece in the jigsaw of London’s history.
“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.
“We now think the skulls are possibly from a known Roman burial ground about 50 metres up river from our Liverpool Street station worksite. Their location in the Roman layer indicates they were possibly washed down river during the Roman period.”
What Crossrail archaeologists have discovered under London
- The discovery of a Mesolithic ‘tool-making factory’ which included 150 pieces of flint, dating some 9,000 years ago, found at North Woolwich;
- Skeletons from a suspected Black Death burial ground in Charterhouse Square near Barbican station;
- The first piece of gold on the project, a 16th Century gold coin that was used as a sequin or pendent, similar to those worn by wealthy aristocrats and royalty, found at Liverpool Street; and
- The first of 3,000 skeletons that will be relocated from the Bedlam burial ground at Liverpool Street.
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