Pretty much everything that humans have made, used, and thrown away will be here forever. Often these possessions have ended up in middens and now we bury vast quantities of our unwanted stuff in the ground in dumps. If you know where to look these relics from a time long gone can be found, especially along the foreshore of the tidal Thames.
There have been people finding the detritus and treasure alongside the capital’s river for hundreds of years. It has been called the world’s longest archaeological site! The people who look for those discarded and lost items are called mudlarks and for the past fifteen years, Lara Maiklem has walked searching for anything that she can find. The variety of things that she spots is quite astounding, and these tell the story of London going back several thousand years to the Neolithic.
I have been following her via various social media accounts for years now, so it was nice to read a little more on the subject as well as a little of her own history as to what she finds so addictive about doing it. I really enjoyed this and liked the way each chapter concentrated on different parts of the capital, from Hammersmith, Rotherhithe and right out into the estuary. I found her to be an informative writer who is passionate about her subject and keen to discover more about the objects she finds. If the book has one tiny flaw, it is that there are very few pictures of her finds.
Paul Cheney 4/4*
Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames by Lara Maiklem
9781408889237 Bloomsbury Paperback March 2020