The London Before London gallery at the Museum of London offers visitors the opportunity to discover the story of London before the city was even built. Spanning some 450,000 years, from the arrival of the first people until the Roman invasion, the gallery covers a period known as prehistory, owing to the lack of written records. During this time, the Thames valley was occupied by several different human species, all sharing the landscape with animals.
There are three main design elements within the gallery: a River Wall (the long blue case) that includes all of the objects found in the river; a Landscape Wall (poetry, site plans); and a series of six central plinths that carry the main archaeological story. They are all arranged chronologically starting from the formation of the Thames Valley from around 450,000 years ago and ending with the founding of the Roman Londinium.
The gallery has four key messages: the massive changes in the landscape caused by both nature and humans; the centrality of the Thames to Prehistoric London; the adaptability of human communities in the region; and the prehistoric legacy after AD50.
The London Before London gallery is perfect for breakfast events and evening drinks receptions, when it can also be combined with the Entrance Hall.
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