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Mon June 21 2021

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Crossrail treasures go on show

4 Jul 12 Treasures dug up during the Crossrail archaeology programme will go on display in London this weekend.

To mark the halfway point of its archaeology programme, Crossrail is hosting a public exhibition on Saturday 7 July from 10 am to 5pm at the Music Room, Grays Antiques, 26 South Molton Street, W1K 5LF.

The exhibition will display finds described as ‘rare and priceless’ to provide an insight into life in London through the ages. Visitors will have an opportunity to interact with some of the artefacts and learn how archaeologists analyse the finds to determine their age.

Displays will include a skeleton from the St Bethlehem Hospital burial ground underneath Liverpool Street. The burial site was used between 1569 and the mid-18th Century for Bedlam’s patients and local residents. Trial archaeology excavations have already unveiled more than 300 burials, many of which are just 1.5m below street level.

Crossrail lead archaeologist Jay Carver said: “Crossrail is undertaking the biggest archaeology project in the UK. Over the past few years we have worked in a range of challenging and constrained sites including busy London streets and abandoned wharves along the Thames. This exhibition consists of a selection of our oldest, rarest and most peculiar finds. It will show visitors how life has changed in the capital as well as helping people to understand how archaeologists plan and execute digs.”

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The Crossrail archaeology programme began in 2009 with archaeologists beginning their investigations at Tottenham Court Road, where they excavated the former Crosse & Blackwell factory site.

Since then Crossrail has uncovered finds dating from pre-historic times to the industrial revolution including medieval ceramic wig curlers, 17th Century gravestone markers and skates made from animal bone.

All items uncovered during Crossrail’s archaeological investigations will be donated to the Museum of London or to the Natural History Museum.

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