Archaeology and the Olympics

Kate Sumnall (London FLO) has been working with her colleagues at the Museum of London, delivering The Discover Programme of community archaeology events on behalf of the Olympic Delivery Authority. This included talks on the archaeology of the Olympic Park given by Kieron Tyler (Senior Archaeologist), which Kate supported with finds handling sessions, in each of the five London boroughs which are hosting the Olympics, and also at the Olympic Park site and the Olympic Delivery Authority offices.

The Discover Programme also included a three-week community excavation project in East Hackney Marshes, which is part of the main Olympic Park site. As the ground was heavily contaminated, and therefore unsuitable for an excavation, a ‘Blanket Dig’ was used to illustrate the history of the site for the schools and other groups who visited. The blankets (each with artefacts from a particular period) were stacked in chronological layers to help explain stratigraphy. Other practical activities included finds washing and a mapping exercise. Over the period of the ‘dig’ six schools from each of the five boroughs, as well as community groups and other users of the Marshes, visited the site. Several of the visitors remembered the area during the Second World War and the changes that followed, and so their reminiscences were added to our sessions with the schools.

© The British Museum 2012 | Credits