Mudlarking expert Jason Sandy has found a Roman hairpin, medieval brass knuckles and three bodies during his 10 years mudlarking on the Thames

Mudlark and architect Jason Sandy on the River Thames in London(Facundo Arrizabalaga)

A mudlark has described his incredible array of finds along the tidal edges of the Thames, including Roman hairpins, ancient coins and even corpses.

Mudlarking, where people comb through the ages with objects large and small that have been discarded or washed up on the banks of the river in search of historical treasures, is becoming increasingly popular.

Architect and mudlark expert Jason Sandy says he fell in love with mudlarking after watching a television documentary and finding his first clay pipe in the mud by the riverbank the next morning.

Among the historical oddities, Jason revealed he’s also made more sinister discoveries, including no fewer than three freshly dead bodies, as well as a recently released human femur, reports MyLondon.

Jason explained that there is a wide variety of objects to be found in the cold mud of the Thames, from fossilized sea creatures to Roman relics to Victorian remains, if you know what to look for.

The cold Thames mud holds all sorts of mysteries sorted by the tides, like these red tiles that appear further up the beach(Facundo Arrizabalaga)

“It took me a while to catch my eye,” says Jason. “I’m always looking for certain forms. Natural shapes are rocks, and coins and artificial objects are unnatural shapes. It’s a very dark beach with black and orange making versatile terrain so dark coins tend to camouflage.”

Jason said his best find was a first-century Roman hairpin, and he’s also amassed a fine collection of coins, fossils, and musket balls.


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