Excavation on the Thames floodplain in London revealed traces of Early Neolithic occupation and burial on a sand and gravel bar beneath alluvium. A large expanse of peat also buried by alluvium was recorded between these finds and the modern river Thames suggesting that the occupation was situated on or close to the foreshore. A single grave cut into the natural sand contained a poorly preserved crouched inhumation, possibly of a woman. The burial was accompanied by a fragment of carinated bowl, a flint knife, and other struck flints. A radiocarbon date from an oak retaining plank within the grave of 5252±28 BP (4220–3970 cal BC: KIA20157) makes this burial one of the earliest from the British Isles and the earliest known for London. A scatter of struck flint and pottery predominantly of Early Neolithic date was recovered from adjacent areas of the sand. A nearby hearth contained fragments of Early Bronze Age pottery pointing to later prehistoric activity nearby.
Charred plant remains indicate both the collection of wild plant foods and cultivated cereals in the Early Neolithic. Radiocarbon dating of the adjacent peat deposits indicated their rapid growth within the Middle Bronze Age with a marked decline in woodland cover at the start of the sequence and a rise in grassland and herb species. Cereal pollen then briefly became a significant component of the sequence before declining to more modest levels.