Remains from several periods of prehistory have been found around
Kew and Richmond. Mesolithic (c.8000 to 4300 BC) tools, including
three stone axes, were found near the Gardens between Brentford
Dock and the ferry. Major concentrations of Neolithic (4300 to 2700
BC) artefacts have been discovered in Richmond and Brentford. Small
Neolithic flints - a flake and a scraper - were found actually within
The Thames's importance and influence continued through the Bronze
Age (c.2300-700 BC) and Iron Age (c.700 BC-43 AD) and a multitude
of metal artefacts from these periods have been found, almost exclusively
in the river itself. Major finds like these come about because early
rituals throughout Europe featured the ceremonial depositing of
artefacts in rivers, and the Thames was no exception.
Combine those rituals with the fact that the Thames then was an
important European trading area, and the result is that a significant
proportion of the non-indigenous Bronze and Iron Age metalwork found
in Surrey has been found in or by the Thames.
In fact, there is a class of Early Bronze Age axe for which almost
all the examples found in Surrey have been found next to the Thames,
and one of these axes was found within the parish of Kew.
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