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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 March 2008, 08:18 GMT
Skeletons found at Olympic site
The skeletons will be used to help local knowledge
Four skeletons thought to date back to the Iron Age have been unearthed on the site of the London 2012 Olympic Park.

The remains, believed to be up to 3,000 years old, were discovered in graves close to where the aquatics centre will be built in Stratford, east London.

They have been removed and will form part of a year-long project to give locals an insight into the area's past.

Archaeologists from the Museum of London have now completed digs at sites of the five main Olympic venues.

Thatched huts

Experts searching the area have previously uncovered a Roman coin, Roman river walls, World War II gun emplacements and a complete 19th Century boat used for hunting wild fowl on the lower River Lea.

The four skeletons were discovered in separate graves in a cemetery within an Iron Age settlement.

Initial analysis suggests there are both male and female burials.

Other remains show that these early Londoners lived in thatched circular huts on the edge of the river valley, surrounded by lakes, rivers and marshes.

River widening

The first Londoners lived by and fished in what is now the River Lea and parts of their cooking pots have also been discovered.

The aquatics centre will be situated beside the river which is currently being widened, by eight metres (8.7 yards), as part of a programme to restore the ancient waterways of the Lower Lea Valley.

More than 140 trenches have been dug and archaeological work has been carried out on the sites of the Olympic stadium, aquatics centre, VeloPark, Olympic village and the international media centre.

The Discover project, being launched on Thursday, will use school visits, a community dig and roadshows to give local people a chance to learn more about the area's history.

London 2012 stadium in pictures
07 Nov 07 |  London 2012


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