North Italian sgraffito dish, early 17th century

Excavations at the British Museum: An Archaeological and Social History of Bloomsbury

By Rebecca Haslam and Victoria Ridgeway

In 1999 and 2007 respectively, the central courtyard and the northwest corner of the British Museum estate were redeveloped in order to create two iconic additions to the institution: the Great Court and the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre. The execution of these projects provided the opportunity to investigate the archaeology and history of the Bloomsbury area and the museum itself through excavation and archival research. This volume presents the results of the ensuing studies undertaken by Pre-Construct Archaeology and in so doing details the evolution of this area of London from the Roman period into modern times. The book charts the impact that the growth of the Museum and its collection has had on the surrounding area of Bloomsbury, as well as focusing on two of the key finds of the excavation: the discovery of the hitherto elusive Civil War defences of London and the intriguing assemblage of dead cows recovered from an early 18th-century collection of graves buried underneath the site. The book presents an overview of the wider urban landscape in which the British Museum is situated and discusses multiple interconnected themes from urban development and housing to domestic material culture and urban garden design. The result is a fascinating study of one of the most iconic areas of London and provides a fresh insight into the history of the British Museum.

The results of Pre-Construct Archaeology’s excavations and research have been published as part of the British Museum Research publications series. The book is available directly from the British Museum bookshop, or via Oxbow books

Current Archaeology Review

Publication Details

Paperback: 250 pages,
Publish Date: 2017
Language: English
ISBN: 9780861592104
Dimensions: H297 x 210 x 160 mm
Publisher: British Museum Press
Series: British Museum Research Publication [Paperback]
Price: 40.00
Available from Oxbow Books or from the British Museum Bookshop