archaeological dig on olympic site
Did prehistoric Londoners inhabit the Olympic site?
Before any building work can get started the Olympic site will be scrutinised by a team of archaeologists for signs of life long ago.
Lea Valley archaeological timeline
In living memory the Lower Lee Valley has been a site of industrial activity, liberally interspersed with dereliction and contamination. But what was there before?
A team of experts from the Museum of London have started a dig to unearth as many clues as possible to the site's history. Before Olympic construction work gets underway, archaeologists will trawl through the 500 acre site to seek evidence of Roman, Viking and medieval Londoners.
Tales of construction projects being hampered by archaeological finds are legion. In Rome, the building of one underground line was delayed for years by a series of precious finds.
The Olympic Delivery Authority is confident that history won't get in the way of the future. Chief Executive David Higgins says, "this is an opportunity to chart and record the unique history of the area back to the first Londoners before it is given a new lease of life for the Games and future generations". He went on "We are starting well ahead of the planned start of construction and nothing is expected to be found that could affect our timetable".
Work has already started on a dozen trenches on the future Velopark to the North-East of the Olympic Park. They will concentrate on
Any interesting finds will either be photographed and recorded, or removed to form part of the Museum of London's collection. The senior archaeologist there, Kieron Tyler, says "This investigation will tell the story of the changing landscape and exactly how human intervention has constantly influenced the environment. It is a unique opportunity to do it such a huge scale."
last updated: 01/01/2008 at 15:43