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LACK OF funding could result in the loss of one of Britain's earliest engineered structures.

NEWS

Museum of London archaeologists are appealing for funds to excavate and reconstruct the remains of a 3,000-year-old bridge found on the banks of the Thames.

Curator of prehistory at the museum Jonathan Cotton said: 'There is no doubt about its importance. This is a major piece of engineered construction and underlines how advanced these early communities were.'

He added that the bridge piles had to be excavated as delay would mean the recently uncovered remains would be destroyed by the Thames. Around £100,000 is needed.

Only the stumps of nine pairs of the Bronze Age bridge's legs remain. They stretch out about 18m from the south bank at Vauxhall. The legs of each pair are about 4m apart and cant inwards at around 12-14 degrees from the vertical.

'We're not absolutely sure it is a bridge - it may have been a jetty,' added Cotton. 'I would be very interested to get an engineering view on its feasibility.'

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