Prehistoric items unearthed at Canary Wharf
PUBLISHED: 13:52 11 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:52 11 October 2016
Natural History Museum
Archaeologists working on Crossrail have unearthed a 55 million year old fragment of amber and the jawbone of a woolly mammoth in Canary wharf.
The specimens have been donated to the natural history museum are now on display in the Museum’s Lasting Impressions gallery.
According to experts at the museum the piece of amber is the oldest of its kind to be discovered in London and could offer insights into what the environment was like millions of years ago.
“This is the oldest amber found in London, several million years older than any other specimen,” said Claire Mellish, Curator of Fossil Arthropods.
“Amber is rare in the type of sediments in which this piece was found. It is very unusual to find amber anywhere in the UK, except pieces that are washed up by the sea on our eastern shores.”
Whilst the piece of amber is an unusual find professor Adrian Lister, a museum palaeobiologist, says it is quite common to find mammoth bones in the capital.
“We have several hundred mammoth specimens from the UK in the Museum collection,” said Adrian.
“Although it seems amazing, it is actually quite common to find bones from mammoths underneath London.”