March 5, 2009 / 4:55 PM / 11 years ago

Prehistoric axe found on Olympic site

LONDON (Reuters) - Archaeologists have found a 4,000-year-old flint axe during a dig on the new 2012 Olympic site in east London.

“It gives a unique insight into the first eastenders that lived and hunted in the area,” the Olympic Delivery Authority said in a statement.

The unfinished axe, which archaeologists believe was deliberately placed in waterlogged ground, was among several items found during Britain’s largest ever search.

Others included skeletons buried in graves around an Iron Age settlement, a Roman coin and medieval and Neolithic pottery.

The Olympic Park is being built on a former industrial site in east London.

“We now know that the Olympic Park area was settled and utilised continuously from the prehistoric period onwards,” said Museum of London Archaeology Senior Archaeologist Kieron Tyler.

“These people lived and died here. This new story of the Lea valley is London before London — a previously unknown London.”

About 140 trenches were dug on the 2.5 sq km park in the two years of search ahead of construction of the venues, which will include the main stadium, aquatics centre, velopark and media centre.

Reporting by Avril Ormsby

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