London rail dig may have uncovered Roman revolt remains

LONDON Wed Oct 2, 2013 3:52pm EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Construction workers digging tunnels for a new railway link under central London said on Wednesday they had found about 20 Roman skulls, the latest archaeological discovery to be made by builders on the project.

Archaeologists said it was possible the remains, found along the historic River Thames tributary, the River Walbrook, dated back to a rebellion by Queen Boudicca who led a revolt against the Roman occupation of Britain in the 1st Century.

"This isn't the first time that skulls have been found in the bed of the River Walbrook and many early historians suggested these people were killed during the Boudicca rebellion against the Romans," said lead archaeologist Jay Carver.

"We now think the skulls are possibly from a known Roman burial ground about 50 meters up river from our Liverpool Street station worksite."

The tunnellers found the skulls along with Roman pottery underneath the Bedlam burial ground, established in the 16th century, where 3,000 skeletons will be removed next year during excavation work for the 16-billion-pound ($24-billion) Crossrail project, Europe's largest infrastructure project.

In March, archaeologists said they had found a graveyard which might hold the remains of 50,000 people killed by the "Black Death" plague more than 650 years ago.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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