World Record: London unearths another record
Today London & Partners name the Museum of London ’s archaeological archive, known as LAARC, the largest in the world as part of World Record London. The largest archaeological archive title, adjudicated by Guinness World Records, pushes the UK capital a step closer to becoming a world record breaking city.
The LAARC, or London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre, is full of London’s hidden treasures so every time you open a box the mysteries of the capital’s past are illuminated through over 5 million artifacts and records of nearly 8,500 London excavations, the earliest dating to 1830.
Some of the record-breaking items to be found within the 10km of shelving and 120,000 brown boxes at LAARC include:
- shoes dating from Roman times to the present day;
- a 200 year-old pair of false teeth;
- a selection of ‘witching bottles’, one complete with human teeth and toenails;
- macabre coffin plates from London ’s cemeteries;
- decorative stone, sculpture and fragments of architecture from London ’s history.
- colourful examples of ceramics, glass and pottery;
- exotic animal bones including whale bones, turtle shells and a swordfish bill.
Roy Stephenson, Head of the Museum of London ’s Archaeological Collections and Archives, says,
“One thing that makes London unique is its rich complex archaeology, some of the best in the world. The water logged environment is perfect for preserving organic objects from leather clothes to wooden waterfronts as well as pottery, coins and bones, all of which and more are represented in our archive. There are many objects in the collections that excite me, one of which is a Maori Patu or war club, which must have been brought home from an epic journey to New Zealand in the 18th or 19th century, it is redolent of past peoples endeavours and the place of London on the world stage.”
The LAARC’s award-winning Volunteer (Visitor) Inclusion Programme is funded through the Renaissance in the Regions programme, a national investment in regional museums managed by Arts Council England. To find out more or book a visit to the LAARC visit http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/laarc or call 020 7001 9844.