A number of Mesolithic finds have been recovered by dredging in the bed of the Thames adjacent to Greenwich, comprising stone tranchet axes and picks, and flint blades and flakes.
Further west on the Thames foreshore of the victualling Yard a grey flint axe was found with a blade in 1984.
At Lewisham five flint flakes, an antler pick and a reindeer or red deer horn were found at Elliots' Works in Thurston Road and a tranchet axe at Century Works in Connington Road near the River Ravensbourne on both sides.
The Neolithic Period
The Bronze Age
From the Bronze Age (c2, 000-700 BC) finds from the River Thames off Greenwich continue to be important and include a palstave, a socketed axe-head, a spearhead ferrule and a leaf-shaped sword, although the sword may have been a fake33. Inland other bronzeaxe-heads have been found in Lewisham at Elliots' Works in Thurston Road in and close to the Ravensbourne.
A wooden structure has been found at Bellot Street in Greenwich; it is not certain that this was a trackway, but its location is appropriate as a route from the terrace edge into the marshes of the Greenwich peninsula.
The highest point of the gravel terrace edge within the study area is near Berthon Street, but no evidence of this period was found. The promontory of St Nicholas may have provided a route to the delta marsh, as it did in the medieval period. The possible gravel island on the east side of the Creek mouth was probably too low for Bronze Age occupation.
At Charlton usage of the late Iron Age defended enclosure at Hanging Shaw Wood also continued into the Roman period.
At Blackheath Hill was Blackheath Cavern, otherwise known as Jack Cade's Cavern, which may have been a prehistoric flint mine or possibly a natural feature. It collapsed in the 1880s and was last examined in 1946. However, it may well have been a medieval chalk quarry associated with the lime-burning industry
A reassessment of the finds has revealed a substantial assemblage of Roman pottery of the second, third and fourth centuries. This included fine wares imported from north-east Gaul, coarse ware cooking pots from the Thames area and Highgate Wood, a nearly whole London area grey ware flagon of the mid second century, and the base of a Nene Valley colour-coated bottle of the late fourth century. It indicates dense occupation over a long period.
The nature and extent of this occupation are as yet unclear; presumably there was a roadside settlement based around the river crossing.
By analogy with the development of other settlement sites along the margins of the lower Thames, it is not unlikely that there was river port in the Deptford/Greenwich area. As the water level in the Thames was approximately 4m lower in the Roman period than at present, it was possible that the shore at the mouth of Deptford Creek could have been used as such a port. A Roman coin was found during excavations at the Power station in 1947, and more coins have been found along the Thames foreshore towards Deptford Strand.