Paleolithic Tools Unearthed at U.S. Embassy in London

May 20, 2014 by Sci-News.com

A group of archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology digging at the site of the U.S. Embassy in Vauxhall, South London, has discovered flint tools dating to the Paleolithic period (before 10,000 BC).

This image shows a flint tool discovered at the U.S. Embassy in Vauxhall, London, UK. Image credit: Museum of London Archaeology.

This image shows a flint tool discovered at the U.S. Embassy in Vauxhall, London, UK. Image credit: Museum of London Archaeology.

London has a long and rich history, which is often attributed as having begun with the arrival of the Romans.

The site of the new U.S. Embassy in Vauxhall was once a river consisting of smaller channels with sandy and gravelly islands in between. Some of the islands were large enough and dry enough for prehistoric people to settle on.

The fertile, marshy banks provided access to rich food sources and were a perfect hunting ground for prehistoric communities.

The flint tools found at the site could be one of the earliest objects found in London.

“What we have found may be the earliest archaeological evidence currently known from London,” said team member Dr Kasia Olchowska.

“It will be interesting to see how this evidence relates to other prehistoric structures on the nearby Thames foreshore.”

“We hope to be able to reconstruct and have a better understanding of the prehistoric landscape of a much wider area than at present.”

Other finds include a prehistoric fish trap, about 12 m long, and evidence for camp fires.

Further analysis of the finds needs to be carried out to establish firm dates and learn more about their production and use.