2012 Olympics story goes back to the year 2000BC

A FLINT axe made more than 4,000 years ago is the oldest of discoveries during a two-year archaeological excavation at East London s 2012 Olympics construction site. It was among artefacts on public display at a talk in Hackney last week about the his

A FLINT axe made more than 4,000 years ago is the oldest of discoveries during a two-year archaeological excavation at East London’s 2012 Olympics construction site.

It was among artefacts on public display at a talk in Hackney last week about the history of the Olympics Park.

Experts from the Museum of London believe the unfinished axe was placed in waterlogged ground deliberately.

The site has been Britain’s biggest-ever archaeological investigation with 140 trenches dug over a square mile between Bow and Stratford before construction gets under way.

Archaeological finds include four prehistoric skeletons buried in graves around an Iron Age settlement, Roman river walls along the banks of the Lea, a complete 19th century boat used for hunting wild fowl on the river, medieval and Neolithic pottery and Second World War anti-aircraft gun emplacements.


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OLYMPIC PARK TIMELINE

- 3000BC: wetlands which the early Londoners navigated by timber walkways to fish and hunt

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- 50AD: Roman road Ermine Street’ from London to Colchester crossed marshes

- 9th century: King Alfred dug Channelsea river to divert invading Vikings from Thames on their way to London

- 1110: First stone arch bow’ bridge in Britain, which gave the area its name

- 1135: Cistercian Abbey exploited Lea water power

- 12th century: Knights Templar water mill (Temple Mills)

- 17th century: Britain’s first calico printer and porcelain factory

- 1858: Joseph Bazalgette’s Northern Outfall sewer built

- 1860: Plastic invented

- 1876: Dry cleaning introduced to UK

- 1892: Britain’s first petrol plant

- 1904: William Yardley’s cosmetics & soap factory

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