2,000-year-old handwritten documents found in London mud

The tablets were preserved in the wet mud of the Walbrook, then a river, now a buried stream.

Published: 01st June 2016 07:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2016 07:13 PM   |  A+A-

Roman Tablets_AP

A piece of wood with the Roman alphabet written on it in, in London. (AP)


LONDON: Archaeologists say they have discovered the oldest handwritten document ever found in Britain among hundreds of 2,000-year-old waxed tablets from Roman London.

Museum of London Archaeology experts say they found more than 400 wooden tablets during excavations in London's financial district for the new headquarters of information company Bloomberg.

So far 87 have been deciphered, including one addressed "in London, to Mogontius" and dated to A.D. 65-80 — the earliest recorded reference to the city, which the Romans called Londinium.

Another is dated Jan. 8, A.D. 57 — Britain's earliest dated hand-written document.

Archaeologist Sophie Jackson said the find was "hugely significant ... It's the first generation of Londoners speaking to us."

The tablets were preserved in the wet mud of the Walbrook, then a river, now a buried stream.

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