The Romans In LondonLondon Grid for Learning

The London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre (LAARC) of the Museum of London houses all the archaeological material that has been excavated in Greater London over the last 50 years or longer. There have been hundreds of excavations which tell us about London from Prehistoric to 20th-century times. The material is recorded and, if thought to be important, it is brought from the excavation so that the archaeologists can look at it more closely.

Conservators check the condition of the objects made of metal and other materials, like wood and bone. Pottery vessels, however, can survive without harm coming to them, except that they were often thrown away because they had been broken. They clean the objects, X-ray and treat them if they need it - a bit like doctors in a hospital. The objects are then carefully packed into plastic boxes or bags. The archaeologists are then able to write about the story of the site. When this has been done, the material is taken to the LAARC store in Hackney and placed in boxes and put on shelving.

It is the largest archaeological store in Britain, Europe and possibly the world. The material is kept so that students and researchers can come and look at the material and study it closely. There is much that can be learnt from this material and as scientific techniques improve there may be more information that will help us tell the story of London. Some of the objects used in this resource come from the LAARC and the replicas are based on London finds.