Crossrail Archaeology: Back to Bedlam, August 2013





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Published on Apr 1, 2014

At Liverpool Street, Crossrail archaeologists have uncovered layers of London's history including the 16th Century Bedlam burial ground and Roman London.

Archaeologists have also uncovered an exceptionally well made Roman road, where a strange find of human bone in the foundations has surprised archaeologists. Roman horse shoes have also been found in the road.

The bone is suspected to have come from a nearby Roman cemetery, located about 50 metres from the archaeology site, and was found in the layers of rammed earth, clay and brush wood which made up the road.

The bone may have been washed out of the cemetery by the River Thames tributary, the Walbrook, which was responsible for depositing skulls down stream that were originally thought to be heads of Boudicca's victims from the revolution in the 1st Century.

Archaeologists are hopeful that when they start large scale excavations to remove 3,000 skeletons from the 17th Century burial ground next year, they will also locate more of the Roman road, along with foundations of Roman buildings that stood alongside the road.

This location in the heart of Liverpool Street holds a rich deposit of archaeology that provides an insight into London's history over the last 2,000 years. Work to relocate local utilities is providing us with a tantalising glimpse of important finds just a few metres below street-level. We plan to excavate the Bedlam burial ground next year and carefully remove up to 3,000 skeletons as well as excavate a wider area to unearth Roman London.

Find out more about Crossrail archaeology:


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