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Tool Time

March/April 2020

Digs England Havering HoardAn extraordinary collection of bronze tools and weapons was recovered at a construction site near the Thames in East London. Dubbed the Havering Hoard, the assemblage comprises 453 artifacts dated to between 900 and 800 B.C., making it the largest Bronze Age hoard discovered in London. The artifacts, including axes, spearheads, swords, and woodworking tools, were found buried close together in four separate pits within an ancient enclosure. Most were partially broken or damaged in antiquity. Some of the axes are of a style that originated on the European continent, suggesting that the tools were either traded across the English Channel or brought by immigrants to Britain. Researchers are stumped as to why these artifacts were so carefully buried. One theory is that they may represent the stockpile of a local metallurgist, who had set aside the broken bronze objects for safekeeping with the intention of recycling them into new objects.

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