London dig finds antiquities


london bridge

  Some smokers’ pipes from the 16th century and wood thousands of years old were found in the excavations of the Thameslink railroad project that will cross London from north to south.

Also found were some Roman and medieval objects in the Southwark area on the south side of the British capital, as well as wooden beams dating back to the years 59-83 AD and a drinking jug from the 14th century, Thameslink said.

The pipes are apparently made of clay and would have been among the first to be smoked in Britain, which adds a detail to what is known about the life of 16th-century Londoners.

The objects are being analysed by archaeologists and will be given to the Museum of London, Thameslink said.

All appears to incidate that the jug was used to serve beer at a house in a village called Abbot of Waverley; it is now being exhibited at the nearby Wheatsheaf pub in Southwark.

The jug is estimated to have been made in the town of Cheam, south London, between 1350 and 1440, Museum of London curator Jackie Keily said.

Thameslink belongs to the Britiish railroad system, as does another project currently under construction called Crossrail, which is completely new and will connect the east and west sides of the city.

The latter, however, runs underground through the downtown part of London and above ground through the city’s outskirts.

Crossrail, whose construction began in 2009 and is planned to be finished by the year 2017, has also turned up antiquities in recent years including human remains.

Thameslink also began construction in 2009 and is scheduled to be completed in 2018.