A Mudlark while being a species of Australian bird’, is also a curious river-side rambler. Over several millennia of habitation, London’s River Thames has collected many layers of mud-addled refuse of varying degrees of value. Although one man’s trash is another’s treasure and the shores of the Thames are still a magnet to curious folk who have made a hobby out of retrieving the miscellany of yore. In the Victorian era, many poverty-stricken children and women foraged on the Thames to make their livelihoods. Everything from shit to shiny pennies, dead bodies to cars ended up in there and generally stayed there. The muddy deoxygenated conditions keeping many objects from decay.
18th/19th Century iridescent glass found on the Thames
The London Mudlarking Facebook page has a plethora of wonderful finds, including 16th Century pottery shards, glass beads, carved ivory pipes and old wigs – all resurrected from the mud for a new life in the modern world. Here are some of the more notable recent finds: