Archaeology

What did they find?

Archaeology South-East/CAA completed the archaeological excavation between March and May 2016 and a watching brief continued until November 2016.

A varied collection of artifacts were recovered from the site and a selection of these can be seen here (pdf).

The full post-excavation assessment and updated project design report is available here (pdf)

Animal bone for web

 

Meet the Archaeologists

During April and May there will be an opportunity for small groups of staff and students to visit the site and receive a first-hand account of the excavation from the Archaeologist team.

The visits will be co-ordinated by LSE Estates and are intended to be held weekly on Wednesdays at 3.30pm and Fridays at 2.30pm and will last approximately one hour. 
For health and safety reasons and to protect the excavation, access into the dig area is not possible;  visitors will observe the works from a viewing platform above the site.

Depending on the number of people that express an interest, visitors may be selected by ballot.  The first visit is likely to be 15 April.  If you are interested in meeting the Archaeologists please email: estates.centrebuildings@lse.ac.uk by 5pm on 13 April 2016.  

23 March 2016

Archaeology South-East/CAA, the archaeological contracting arm of UCL has been appointed by the London School of Economics to undertake a programme of archaeological work as part of the redevelopment of the Centre Buildings at the LSE. The work has been necessitated as a condition of planning consent, and following previous evaluation trenching which established deposits relating to Lundenwic (the Saxon capital of London) surviving to varying degrees across the site. The scope of work agreed with Historic England incorporates a watching brief across the entire site with a formal set-piece excavation to be undertaken over an area measuring 750m², where deeply stratified Saxon deposits survive.

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The evaluation identified a series of clearly defined events in the strata, indicative of multi-phase occupation of the area within the Mid Saxon period. Lying some 150m east of Kingsway the site is in an area that at best would be seen as peripheral to Lundenwic (which was centred on Covent Garden piazza more or less) so the surprising levels of preservation on the site (given it lies below the former basement of the East Building) present a rare opportunity to further explore the true extent of Lundenwic and investigate the lives of its inhabitants.

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We commenced the mechanical stripping of overburden last week and have already exposed a Saxon dark earth/midden deposit across at least half of the area, similar to those found at the Opera House and London Transport Museum sites, which should help to tie it chronologically to what is already known of Lundenwic. The mechanical work should be complete by 1 April and we then have eight weeks to complete the excavation, although the watching brief is anticipated to last at least a further couple of months.

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