Top three objects from the Time Truck's summer of fun

Magnus Copps

Time Truck Project Officer Magnus Copps looks at some of the fascinating objects and stories that the public have been discovering in recent weeks, as the Truck hit the streets of London to showcase development-led archaeology.

It’s been a bumper summer on the Time Truck and we’ve had a fantastic range of artefacts on show. Do keep an eye on our events pages for forthcoming outings including on the 8 October '5000 years of the history at the Olympic Park'. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to come aboard so far, we thought we’d share three of our favourites finds from this summer's outings.

Blacking bottles from Tune Hotels Liverpool Street – These simple, unmarked stoneware bottles were found in a 19th century rubbish dump during excavations for Tune Hotels’ Liverpool Street on Folgate Street. Originally they would have held liquid blacking, a kind of polish made from graphite. Blacking, or Blacklead as it was sometimes known, was used to clean iron objects such as fire-grates, protecting them from rust and keeping them looking smart. The bottles were displayed as part of our outing to Spitalfields Market, supported by Tune Hotels, on the 8th and 9th of September.

Bartmann jugs from London Wall Place – These 17th century vessels, with their characteristic bearded faces, were excavated from the defensive ditch that surrounded London’s Roman city wall. They were uncovered during the construction of London Wall Place in 2014. These jugs stored wine and other drinks, and were sealed with a cork. We know of a number of taverns operating close to the site in the period. The jugs were the friendly face of our display in Guildhall Yard as part of Open House London 2016, supported by London Wall Place.  

Roman oil lamp from Tower Beach – This Roman oil lamp was picked up by a member of the public during the Thames Discovery Programme’s Tower Beach Open Foreshore event for Totally Thames. It is a relatively simple design perhaps used in the home of a Roman Londoner around the 3rd century AD. TEAM2100, who kindly supported our outing to Tower Beach, were showcasing their programme to repair an upgrade flood defences along the Thames.

The Time Truck - archaeology on wheels - is a mobile classroom, exhibition and events space. We’re working with partners to share the archaeological discoveries made on construction sites on a daily basis as well as delivering a free schools programme. This work wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our project partners Thames Water, Wates Giving and the Wates Family Enterprise Trust, Brookfield Properties, Oxford Property Group, The Garfield Weston Foundation, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Stanhope PLC, and TP Bennett.

  • Medieval
  • Time Truck
  • From the experts
  • Artefacts
  • Roman
  • Event
  • Community project
  • Placemaking

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