Saturday, November 26, 2011

London - Vauxhall Bridge

I went to Vauxhall, not really to admire the architecture of the bridge, which I have to admit is quite interesting,

but rather to have a look at the Mesolithic posts they found last year near Vauxhall Bridge.

In 2010  archaeologists from the Thames Discovery Programme investigated the Thames foreshore and made this exceptional discovery. They found six timber piles of up to 30 cm in diameter. They are part of a Mesolithic structure which is more than 6000 years old.  Radiocarbon dates from the timbers showed a fell date between 4790 and 4490 calBC. At this time the river level was lower and this might have been a circle, supporting structures for a building, or even the timber piles from a small platform reaching into the water of the river Thames. Offerings from later periods indicate that this area was a place of worship:

When the tide is low (0.3m-ish) you can see the timbers looking out of the water. Although I went to Vauxhall Bridge at the lowest possible tide (1.0 m-ish) I couldn't see them, which makes somehow sense;  because they are not preserved up to a substantial height,  70 cm  would submerge them easily. I guess I have to come back in February :) However, this is roughly the area where they should be, just underneath the MI-6 headquarters:

Other prehistoric and historic timbers were visible, as the Bronze Age jetty:

or a more recent structure (18th or 19th century?):

On the opposite side of the river, London's Duck Tours launched its vehicle:

Hm...maybe next time I'll go for a ride on the duck :)

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