Crossrail has unveiled plans to create a permanent line-wide art exhibition across eight of its new central and east London stations.
Work on Crossrail has exposed a burial ground opened in Farringdon at the time of the Black Death.
More than a dozen skeletons thought to be victims of the Black Death have been unearthed in the City of London.
Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director said: "Crossrail's construction continues to move ahead at a significant pace.
"Crossrail has not only completed the first Crossrail tunnel under London but has reached the half-way point for our tunnelling machines with a phenomenal 13 miles of train tunnels constructed to-date."
"A further six tunnelling machines are currently hard at work constructing over 100 metres of new tunnel each day with major tunnelling due to complete next year."
Phyllis' sister machine, Ada, is in the Holborn area and is due to complete tunnelling during the winter while another six machines will finish tunnelling next year. Phyllis will be dismantled and her 130 metre long trailer system will be removed from the tunnel.
Crossrail wants Londoners to submit ideas for items to be included in a time capsule at the Farringdon site to mark the first completed tunnel. Those with the winning suggestions will have the opportunity to be among the first to visit the completed tunnel later this year.
Crossrail engineers have completed the first tunnel under London. It comes as a tunneling machine called Phyllis completes the stretch between Royal Oak and Farringdon, a distance of 4.2 miles.
Phyllis has been used collectively with six other tunnelling machines to reach the 13 mile point, in a 26 mile marathon.
During the past few months, Crossrail archaeologists have made a number of discoveries:
- Mesolithic 'tool-making factory' which included 150 pieces of flint, dating some 9,000 years ago, found at North Woolwich
- Skeletons from a suspected Black Death burial ground in Charterhouse Square near Barbican station
- The first piece of gold on the project, a 16th Century gold coin that was used as a sequin or pendent, similar to those worn by wealthy aristocrats and royalty, found at Liverpool Street
- The first of 3,000 skeletons that will be relocated from the Bedlam burial ground at Liverpool Street
The skulls were found below the Bedlam burial ground established in the 16th century, where 3,000 skeletons will be carefully removed during major archaeological excavations next year.
For safety reasons, the archaeologists have had to leave the archaeology work to the tunnellers as the skulls were up to six metres below ground. Roman skulls have been found along the historic Thames tributary the River Walbrook throughout London's history.
– Jay Carver, Lead archaeologist
This is an unexpected and fascinating discovery that reveals another piece in the jigsaw of London's history.
This isn't the first time that skulls have been found in the bed of the River Walbrook and many early historians suggested these people were killed during the Boudicca rebellion against the Romans.
We now think the skulls are possibly from a known Roman burial ground about 50 metres up river from our Liverpool Street station work site. Their location in the Roman layer indicates they were possibly washed down river during the Roman period.
Around 20 Roman skulls have been unearthed during work on the Crossrail project near Liverpool Street station.
Working under the direction of Crossrail's archaeologists, the construction workers removed the human skulls and Roman pottery, found in the sediment of the historic channel of the River Walbrook.
On the anniversary of the opening ceremony, disabled protesters staged a demonstration over Crossrail. Campaigners are angry that despite the billions being spent on the scheme, seven of the 38 stations will not be fully accessible by wheelchair.
Glen Goodman reports:
The anniversary of the Paralympic Games is being marked today with a protest by disability campaigners, calling for more to be done to make the new Crossrail train route accessible.
Glen Goodman reports:
Work on the two new crossrail tunnels south of the Thames has reached the half way point. During the first three months of excavations, more than 100 thousand tonnes of material has been dug. Crossrail services are due to begin in 2018.