A construction project in London's financial district inadvertently led to the discovery of a bevy of ancient documents from nearly 2,000 years ago.
The 410 inscribed tablets are believed to be from the first few years after Rome has established London as a city.
Remarkably well-preserved in mud, the finds constitute the earliest known writing ever found in Britain as well as the first-ever written reference to London itself.
Originally coated in a wax which has subsequently worn away over the ensuing centuries, the wooden tablets still contained fragments of written language where the stylus used for writing has pierced the waxy veneer.
Despite the historic nature of the tablets, their content is largely mundane albeit providing a unique glimpse into early life in London.
Financial transactions, legal rulings, supply orders and the names of around 100 individuals are among the insights deciphered by archeologists from the tablets so far.
Although archeologists had hoped that the construction project would yield possible artifacts, even they were surprised by the incredibly historic nature of what was unearthed.
And while the discovery may have been a literal treasure, the unprecedented access to London's earliest years is a priceless find for historians.
Source: Daily Mail