Secrets of the foreshore

It’s been a glorious day in London and the Thames was at lowtide, so it was a perfect opportunity for a stroll along the foreshore in the company of an expert archaeologist.

In and amongst the twenty first century debris, we saw a seventeenth century cartwheel, a Roman roof tile, and bones – lots of them.

My interest was immediately piqued until I was informed that the bones were almost exclusively the remnants of Sunday dinners and KFC takeaways.  In fact, to date, no human bones had been found.  So no hint of a murder here!

But some bones had had a more interesting history: the ones with intricate indentations were used in nearby factories to make patterns in pottery, while others had had their ends sawn off in order to manufacture glue from the cartilage deposited there.

I found a large, heavy brick coloured object which looked remarkably like the Roman roof tile, but I’m afraid it was merely a Victorian floor tile, so I decided it wasn’t worth the while lugging it home and replaced it for posterity.



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