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While wood rarely survives when buried in the ground, the tablets were preserved by the absence of oxygen in the wet mud of the Walbrook, which dominated the area in Roman times but is now one of London's many buried rivers.
Many of the wooden tablets, excellently preserved in the mud of a buried river, date back close to the founding of Londinium - the Roman settlement established in 43 AD on the River Thames in what is now the City of London.'We always had high high hopes for the Bloomberg dig, situated in the heart of the Roman and modern city and with perfect wet conditions for the survival of archaeology, but the findings far exceeded all expectations,' she said.
Analysis of the text has revealed snapshots of Roman life.
Pictured is a text from around 80 AD which reads 'you will give this to Junius the Cooper, opposite the house of Catullus' Oxford University classicist and cursive Latin expert Roger Tomlin, who deciphered and interpreted the tablets, said: 'The Bloomberg writing tablets are very important for the earliest history of Roman Britain, and London in particular.
Archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of wooden tablets at a construction site in the City of London, many of which have been deciphered to reveal names, events, business and legal dealings and evidence of someone practising writing the alphabet and numerals (pictured) The excavation has uncovered the earliest readable tablet, which dates 43 AD, in the first decade of Roman rule.
It reads: '...because they are boasting through the whole market that you have lent them money.
Therefore I ask you in your own interest not to appear shabby..will not thus favour your own affairs...' The tablets, which were used by the Romans like paper for note-taking, accounts, correspondence and legal documents, were discovered during excavations for Bloomberg's new European headquarters in the City of London.Some 410 wooden tablets have been discovered, 87 of which have been deciphered to reveal names, events, business and legal dealings and evidence of someone practising writing the alphabet and numerals.