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Prehistoric south-east London

8,000 year old flint tools uncovered at North Woolwich Portal and Bronze Age stakes uncovered at Plumstead Portal
Archaeologists excavating Mesolithic Flint waste at North Woolwich_89992
Archaeologist holds a piece of Mesolithic flint uncovered at North Woolwich_89990
Archaeologist holds a piece of Mesolithic flint uncovered at North Woolwich_89991
Archaeologist holds a piece of Mesolithic flint uncovered at North Woolwich_92702
Construction team member holding a Mesolithic flint artefact at North Woolwich Portal_92701
Crossrail Lead Archaeologist Jay Carver holding mesolithic flint found at North Woolwich site in August 2013_94382
North Woolwich Flints found in trench excavation at North Woolwich_89994
Mesolithic flint scraper_124262
Flint is a hard stone. When it is struck it often breaks leaving a sharp edge. This can be further sharpened by striking it with another stone.
Mesolithic waste flakes from the manufacture of flint tools_124261
Flint is found throughout south-east England and in the Thames valley.
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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.

Archaeologists excavating Bronze Age stakes carved by humans to make a trackway across marshlands_47204
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.
Archaeologists excavating Bronze Age stakes carved by humans to make a trackway across marshlands_123475
Similar timbers we know were used by Bronze Age people to provide an extensive access network of raised wooden walkways across the Thames marshes.

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.