London Dig Uncovers Roman-era Skulls

An archaeologist digs out a possibly Roman skull from the site of the graveyard of the Bethlehem, or Bedlam, hospital next to Liverpool Street Station in the City of London. The dig is on the site of the future ticket hall for the Crossrail station at Liverpool Street.

Local environment groups placed 36 diffusion monitoring tubes on structures close to parks, bus stops, busy roads and in residential areas, to measure emissions in more than 30 streets. They were left for four weeks and only four were removed or stolen.Analysis by a laboratory used by government found that concentrations of the toxic exhaust pipe gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceeded EU levels by over 50 per cent in some areas, and was over the safety limit in 15 out of 32 places tested. The results are alarming, say the groups, because colourless, odourless NO2 pollution is cumulative and the 15 sites surpassed the annual safety limit after only four weeks. The experiment suggests that official testing of roadside air pollution is limited and insufficient. Many of the tubes measured emissions in streets that are never monitored, and those placed near official monitors mostly recorded levels above those published by government. Air pollution from traffic in east London is considered by health experts to be some of the worst in Britain, mostly affecting the old and young and linked to respiratory and heart diseases. It is estimated that air pollution kills over 4,000 people in the city each year. The Green party assembly member Darren Johnson said on Friday that Londonas air pollution was an aabsolute crisis.a Environment groups expect air pollution to deteriorate further in east London if two major infrastructure developments are permitted. City airport has submitted plans which could allow it to add 50,000 more flights a year. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also wants a new Thames road crossing that could massively increase traffic. aOur sampling showed that in key public locations readings are breaching EU guidelines. We are being asked to believe that the massive expansion of London city airport will have only a negligible impact on air quality. This shows it is simply not the case,a said Alan Haughton of Stop City Airport. By arrangement with the Guardian

An archaeologist digs out a skull from the site of the graveyard of the Bethlehem, or Bedlam, hospital next to Liverpool Street Station in London. The skulls likely date from the first century A.D. and may possiblyjust possiblybe victims of the famed Queen Boudicca ‘s troops, decapitated during her uprising against Roman rule in 61 A.D. The intriguing find was made some 20 feet below Liverpool Street as workers bored through ancient river sediments from the long-vanished Walbrook River, once a tributary of the Thames. The skulls and pottery shards found with them may have collected in a bend of the old river, having washed down from a nearby burial ground. The Roman skulls and pottery are just the latest in a staggering number of archaeology marvels that have been uncovered by the $23 billion (14.8 billion) subterranean Crossrail engineering project . The project aims to create a new underground rail line beneath London. (See “London’s Underground Revealed.” ) The finds cut across historyeverything from 9,000-year-old Mesolithic stone tools, to medieval plague pits, to a 16th-century graveyard associated with the notorious Bedlam Hospital . Containing some 3,000 graves, the graveyard was also found near Liverpool Station, in the vicinity of the Roman-era skulls. So what are the scholars who uncovered these storied skulls saying about their find? We asked discovery team archaeologist Don Walker of the Museum of London Archaeology . What is the associationif anywith Boudicca’s rebellion? It has been suggested that previous finds of skulls dating to this period may belong to victims of the rebellion, and beheading is certainly not unheard of in Roman Britain. This is a possibility that must be considered but cannot be satisfactorily addressed until full analysis of all material is complete. A quick look at some of the unwashed skulls revealed no evidence of injury around the time of death.

London Whale Lifts U.K. Regulator to Highest Fines in a Decade

Regulator to Highest Fines in a Decade By Suzi Ring – 2013-10-04T15:11:31Z The U.K. finance regulator recorded its largest month of fines in more than a decade in September, buoyed by a 137.6 million-pound ($221.2 million) penalty against JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) over the London Whale debacle. Industry fines totaled 169.5 million pounds last month and brought total penalties from the Financial Conduct Authority in 2013 to 339.5 million pounds, according to statistics published today by Wolters Kluwer NV (WKL) , Europe s largest tax and legal publisher. The year-to-date total is larger than any other full year since 2002. The regulator fined JPMorgan as part of a probe into losses exceeding $6.2 billion on a derivatives position built by a trader who came to be known as the London Whale because his bets were so large. The past year has also seen the regulator punish banks embroiled in the scandal over rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor. The FCA is endeavoring to keep up with the international trend towards greater levels of fining and is continuing the trajectory started in the U.K. by the Financial Services Authority in its latter years, said Barnabas Reynolds, a London lawyer at U.S. law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP. The FSA became the FCA in April this year. FCA fines increased considerably last year hitting 313.4 million pounds at the end of 2012 compared with 66.1 million pounds in 2011. The FCA is clear that where there is poor behavior we will act quickly with punishments we believe reflect the seriousness of what has taken place, the FCA said in an emailed statement. To contact the reporter on this story: Suzi Ring in London at sring5@bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net More News: