10,000 years ago the Thames valley was wide with clear-running freshwater channels and lakes. The river acted as a route through the densely wooded landscape, as well as being a source of fresh water and food.
At North Woolwich archaeologists found a tool-making site dating to the later Mesolithic period (c. 8,500 – 6,000 BP). It was located on what would have been an area of sandy, higher ground close to the river. Two scatters of struck flint were found, along with burnt flint and traces of hearths.
During excavations at Plumstead Portal in 2012, Crossrail uncovered tantalising fragments of life in the Bronze Age. Several wooden stakes and a stone hammer tool showed that ancient Britons were accessing and exploiting the landscape resources of the floodplain.
The Bronze Age finds include a hammer stone used as a tool and two wooden stakes that have been shaped into points by early London hunters with an axe.
Similar timbers we know were used by Bronze Age people to provide an extensive access network of raised wooden walkways across the Thames marshes.
A large network of timber pathways were constructed in the Bronze Age across east London. Archaeologists think that these would have allowed easier access for hunters to the rich wildlife that lived on the lush wetlands some 3,500 years ago.