Tunneling under London for a new railway is like taking a slice through layers of history, as the builders of the new 118km Crossrail line have discovered.
Over 100 archaeologists have worked with Crossrail since the project started in 2009 and 10,000 items have so far been located at 40 construction sites in London, ranging from 65-million-year-old mammoth bones to a 9,000-year-old flint-making factory and Roman pottery.
In March 2013, 25 human skeletons were discovered in Charterhouse Square, Clerkenwell, and scientists working with Crossrail now believe that airborne pneumonic plague may have caused the Black Death in 1348, not bubonic plague spread by rats, as has always been taught in schools.
All items found within London eventually end up at the Museum of London, but in the meantime Crossrail is considering opening one of its construction sites to the public to view on-going excavations and is planning events for the next 12 months.
Here is a small selection of items found during the construction of Crossrail, which will open to passengers in late 2018.
A Roman skull and a cremation pot were found at the Liverpool Street ticket hall construction site. Archaeologists believe that the skulls were washed down from an upstream Roman cemetaryCrossrail
Tudor bowling balls were found at the remains of a medieval manor house in Stepney Green. King John's Court (later called Worcester House) played an important role in the political and religious non-conformist movement in east London.Crossrail
A wide-toed leather Tudor shoe was also found at the site in Stepney Green. Shoes like this can be seen in pictures of Henry VIII and his familyCrossrail
Archaeologists found a section of mammoth bone dating back 65 million years at the site of the defunct Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company on the Isle of Dogs near Canary WharfCrossrail
Crossrail discovered an extremely rare piece of amber dating 55 million years, under a dock bed at the site of the defunct Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company in Canary Wharf.Crossrail
A Tudor chamberpot was also discovered in Stepney Green where the medival manor house once stoodCrossrail
Crossrail discovered a solid gold coin from Venice at Liverpool Street, which had a hole where it had been sewn onto a coat to keep it safeCrossrail
Roman horseshoes were discovered together with an exceptionally well-made Roman road constructed from rammed earth, clay and brush woodCrossrail
3,000 skeletons were found at the ancient burial ground of the Bedlam (Bethlehem Hospital) next to Liverpool Street station. The area is also the first burial ground not associated with the Church.Crossrail