Archaeologists are heralding the findings of a dig beneath Bloomberg's future London headquarters as one of the most impressive discoveries of its kind.
The site has thus far yielded nearly 10,000 artifacts, as well as incredibly well-preserved streets that were once a part of Roman London, also known as Londinium. The finds date between the mid-40s A.D. to 410 A.D., the BBC notes.
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The dig was led by archeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), who throughout a period of six months have manually removed close to 3,500 tons of soil from the three-acre site.
Among the treasures uncovered are good luck charms, coins, leather shoes, and writing tablets, Bloomberg reports. Michael Marshall, a Roman finds specialist, told the outlet that many of the artifacts were discarded by their original owners.
"We’ve been sifting through 2,000-year-old rubbish pits," Marshall said. "Some of them are incredibly smelly."
Sophie Jackson, manager of the site for MOLA, said the discovery of the writing tablets had particularly exciting implications, according to the Independent. Numbering upwards of 100, the fragments were found in what the outlet described as an abandoned filing cabinet, and contained the names of ancient Londoners.
"These are really exciting," Jackson said, as "there are only 14 references to London in all of Roman literature.”
The discovery of this many artifacts in such good condition is unusual, CNN reports. The level of preservation has led researchers to dub the site the "Pompeii of the north."
"The site is a wonderful slice through the first four centuries of London's existence," Jackson said in a news release. "The waterlogged conditions left by the Walbrook Stream have given us layer upon layer of Roman timber buildings, fences, and yards, all beautifully preserved and containing amazing personal items, clothes, and even documents -- all of which will transform our understanding of the people of Roman London."