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Oldest handwritten document found in UK

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Archaeologists say they have discovered the oldest handwritten document ever found in Britain among hundreds of 2000-year-old waxed tablets from Roman London.

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Museum of London archaeology experts say they found more than 400 wooden tablets during excavations in London’s financial district for the new headquarters of media business Bloomberg.

So far 87 have been deciphered, including one addressed “in London, to Mogontius” and dated to AD 65-80, making it the earliest recorded reference to the city, which the Romans called Londinium.

Another is dated January 8, AD 57 and is considered Britain’s earliest dated handwritten document.

Archaeologist Sophie Jackson said the find was “hugely significant … It’s the first generation of Londoners speaking to us.”

The tablets were preserved in the wet mud of the Walbrook, then a river, now a buried stream.

AP

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