From Roman skulls to a Tudor bowling ball: Crossrail launches virtual tour of artefacts unearthed during Elizabeth Line construction

Rebecca Smith
Over 50 Roman skulls were uncovered at Liverpool Street
Over 50 Roman skulls were uncovered at Liverpool Street (Source: Crossrail)

A new virtual exhibition of artefacts unearthed during construction for the Crossrail project has been launched, after archaeologists uncovered more than 10,000 artefacts during the work.

The site is to run alongside an exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands that is open until 3 September, which takes visitors on a site-based journey, following the map of the Elizabeth Line east to west and the discoveries found along the way.

Read more: Crossrail construction hits fresh milestone at Abbey Wood station

Since work began in 2009 archaeologists have dug up a range of unusual finds, spanning 55m years of the capital's history.

And 10 new 360-degree images have been released for the site, covering some of the project's most unusual discoveries, including a Roman cremation urn, disarticulated skull and bronze coin at Liverpool Street, a Tudor wooden bowling ball at Stepney Green and an 8,000 year-old flint scraper tool from Woolwich.

Jay Carver, Crossrail's lead archaeologist, said:

The Crossrail project has given archaeologists a unique opportunity to look at important areas of London that have been tantalisingly out of reach for centuries.

He added that the immersive site, "uses the best of the photo and video content captured during the excavations to let people explore over 8,000 years of the capital’s hidden history".

Read more: In pictures: Crossrail's tastiest discovery yet

Some of Crossrail's finds during construction:

  • 8,000 year-old flint scraper tool - Woolwich


  • Roman cremation urn, disarticulated skull and bronze coin - Liverpool Street

  • Tudor wooden bowling ball - Stepney Green

  • Crosse & Blackwell marmalade jar - Tottenham Court Road

  • 18th century Chinese pearlware bowl - Stepney Green

  • 19th century glass bottle - Pudding Mill Lane

All images: Crossrail

The plethora of finds comes as the start of services on the line draws closer. The first Elizabeth Line services for London's Crossrail project are set to hit the tracks later this month.

The first stage of the project, which will span from Reading and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Wood, will open between Liverpool Street Main Line and Shenfield.

Read more: Crossrail is coming: The first Elizabeth Line services start this month

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