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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 November 2005, 11:24 GMT
In pictures: Medieval London

The Museum of London is opening a new gallery exploring the history of the medieval capital. The 1,200 artefacts include these 'poulaine' shoes, recovered from the boggy Thames.

The Black Death of 1348-50 killed half of the population and the city opened emergency cemeteries. This site near the Tower of London held bodies up to five deep.

This brooch was found in a cemetery in Floral Street, Covent Garden. Dating from the 600s, it contains copper, gold and garnets. This style was popular among Saxon aristocrats.

Not all the city's residents were so well heeled. This child's knitted mitten and vest date from the 1500s. Many poor people made their own clothes or bought them second hand.

These bone dice and shaker from the late 1400s were x-rayed and found to contain droplets of mercury so they always fell the same way.

This 1400s ring is decorated with engraved figures of St Thomas Becket in archbishop's robes and other Christian figures which were meant to protect the wearer from harm.

Inside this cross is a fragment of wood, probably regarded as part of the True Cross. And a Sabbath lamp was seen in Jewish homes until the explusion of the community in 1290.

It wasn't all doom and gloom. Records from 1173 reveal Londoners skated on frozen Moorfields marsh, in the city's north. How did they do it? On skates made from cattle bones.

Medieval London had some 1,300 alehouses - although not all of them served their brews in tankards as elegant as this. Ales were often drunk in place of water which was too dirty.




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