Today we visited the Museum of London Archaeological Archives and Research Centre (LAARC). Located at Mortimer Wheeler House in London, the exterior entrance of the building does not do justice to the fascinating work that is carried out inside. LAARC is generally not open to the public. Once again our group was divided into two groups. My group received our tour from Adam Corsini. Adam is the LAARC Archaeology Collections Manager.
|Entrance to Mortimer Wheeler House|
One thing I thought was really interesting was that they take their artifacts out to various areas of London (shopping malls, schools, etc). Here they have displays for people to come and learn more about the archaeology of the community around them.
Unlike most of the other archives we visited, this collection consisted mostly of artifacts. Any artifact that is found in or around London during construction is recovered by the Museum of London. In fact, the information pertaining to digs as well as the results of those digs is stored here. The artifacts are either here because they are new finds and they must be cataloged and inventoried or they are in storage. Because there are so many items the Museum of London cannot have all of them on display at once. So, those items will be stored here until they are part of a exhibit at the museum.
This was the site where we were able to touch a brick with soot on it from the 1666 great fire of London! I actually had soot on my finger from a fire that happened 348 years ago! How many Americans can say that?
|Me and classmates touring the archives with Adam Corsini|