Tuesday, September 27, 2011

LA COTTE ON JERSEY HAS EXCEPTIONAL LONG TERM RECORD OF NEANDERTHAL BEHAVIOR

The site at La Cotte de St Brelade reveals a near-continuous use of the cave site spanning over a quarter of a million years, suggesting a considerable success story in adapting to a changing climate and landscape, prior to the arrival of Homo sapiens.


The La Cotte ravine has revealed the most prolific collection of early Neanderthal technology in North West Europe, including over 250,000 stone tools. These include stones with sharpened edges that could be used to cut or chop, known as hand axes. The huge amounts of carefully manufactured tools show just how
technologically skilled early Neanderthal groups were.


"The artifacts from the site don't just tell us about what people were doing at the site itself, but throughout the landscapes that are now underneath the channel,"
continues Dr Scott. "Neanderthals were traveling to Jersey already equipped with good quality flint tools, then reworking them, very, very carefully so as not to waste anything. They were extremely good at recycling."


La Cotte's collapsed cave system contains intact ice age sediments spanning a quarter of a million years, revealing a detailed sequence of Neanderthal
occupation and occasional abandonment, against a background of changing climate. "The site is the most exceptional long-term record of Neanderthal behavior
in North West Europe," says Dr Matt Pope from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London.

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