Screen shot of BBC web page announcing report of mass migration in the Bronze Age  discovered by DNA
Screen shot of BBC web page

This BBC article reports on a genetic discovery by the Francis Crick Institute, co-authored with Prof. Barry Cunliffe, which shows a new genetic trait arriving in Kent and then, after a pause, spreading throughout England. It did not spread into Scotland and there is not enough data to show whether it moved into Ireland.

It is possible that it either brought the Celtic language with it. Or did it bring the Brythonic version of Celtic to England, leaving Scotland and Ireland speaking the pre-existing Goidelic version of the language branch?

The article also discusses the spreading of a gene for tolerance to lactose which spread rapidly, suggesting it must have contributed greatly to genetic survival. They postulate some existential threat during the Bronze Age which allowed those who could drink milk to survive much better than those who did not.


London before the Romans
View of London from the SE as it might have looked before the Roman Invasion

In researching my Prehistoric Virtual Walk (Sunday 25/04/21 Details) I came across many great sites of interest. Here are a few

Barn Elms – London’s Oppidum?

This is a lecture by Alex Barnes – only 15 minutes, long and about a site in South West London that just might be an important Iron Age centre of power, which might explain all that great metalwork found in the River Thames over the centuries.

Barn Elms talk

The Early River Thames – the Iron Age and Before

This is a lecture by Jon Cotton in the Gresham College Series.

Gives interesting insights.

The Early River Thames

Horton Neolithic Houses

I don’t know how I missed this site, as it was reported in archaeological magazines I read, but it is an amazing multi-period site in the Thames Valley. Excavations before gravel extraction have shown a particularly amazing sequence of Neolithic and Bronze Age discoveries.

They found 4 or 5 early Neolithic Houses, about 15% of those that have been found in the entire UK, and an amazing placed deposit, which contained a collection of objects dating back thousands of years. In effect, a ‘museum’ collection.

I’ll let you read it from the horse’s mouth. To read click here.

Screenshot of Wessex Archaeology's page on the excavations of Kingsmede Quarry, Horton.


This has been a long time coming and only made possible by the need to go Virtual during the Pandemic. I have never done a prehistoric walk around London as such. I have done sections of it, and given lectures on the subject. But they were mostly overviews. This has therefore been a challenge putting this together, but a necessary revision of my knowledge.

So please do join me on:

Sunday 25th April 2021 6.30pm

An exploration of London before the foundation of Londinium

It was long thought that London was founded by a Trojan Exile in the Late Bronze Age. But historical analysis and archaeological excavation gradually demoted the idea to a myth.

On this tour we explore what was in the London area before the Romans. We begin at Heathrow and tour Greater London for evidence from the Paleolithic to the invasion of the Emperor Claudius.

We concentrate on the period since the introduction of farming, and bring together evidence for the prehistoric Kingdoms that controlled the area on the eve of the Invasion. We look for henges, barrows, hill forts, hut circles and look at genetic evidence for identity of prehistoric Londoners. The tour will end in the City.

This is a London Walks event by Kevin Flude, ex Museum of London Archaeology and Museum Curator

To book