Instant Improver

5 bizarre findings from London's Crossrail dig


Crossrail’s 26-mile tunnelling marathon is done, with more than 10,000 artefacts, from bones to boats to bison, dug up in the process. ShortList sifts the hoard.

Liverpool Street

Archaeologists have so far pulled up nearly 3,000 skeletons (of an expected 3,500) from the 450-year-old Bedlam graveyard under Liverpool Street station. These include the remains of Dr John Lamb (accused of rape and black magic before being killed by a mob), Robert Lockyer (executed by Oliver Cromwell) and a Lord Mayor. 


Three 19th century cannons were uncovered on the site of an old ordnance storage area. 

Canary Wharf

Amber is rare in Britain, but the largest and most-likely oldest piece ever found, at roughly 55 million years, was unearthed under a dock bed at Canary Wharf. 

Canning Town

Tunnellers found a piece of a Thames barge dating back to the 1200s, as well as evidence of ancient docks. 

Royal Oak

Bison, mammoth and prehistoric reindeer bones were unearthed in what used to be a river channel. They died out 10,000 years ago. 

(Images: Crossrail)


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