Wednesday, February 05, 2014

ONE MILLION-YEAR-OLD SETTLEMENT UNCOVERED IN BRITAIN--THE OLDEST EVER FOUND IN THE UK

Archaeologists believe they have found the birthplace of British civilization, and it is underneath a £15-a-night caravan park in Happisburgh, Norfolk, England. Discoveries at the site include one million-year-old artifacts and fossilized animal remains, which are the oldest ever found in the UK. Scientists now believe that it was the first, or one of the first settlement sites of early humans in Britain. Although researchers are yet to uncover any human remains, it is believed the site was a settlement created by early humans, such as Homo erectus.

"We don't know which species of early human first came to Britain so my dream is to find a fossil human at Happisburgh," said Chris Stringer, research leader in human origins at the Natural History Museum. The complete findings are set to be revealed next month in Natural History Museum's exhibition: 'Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story', where more than 200 specimens and objects will be on display.

"Happisburgh could be the first place where humans settled in Britain," said Stringer. "We have some spectacular finds of tools and the fossils of butchered animals beneath cliffs in front of what is now partly a holiday caravan park. We think the site where they lived was on the river Thames, which flowed out into the North Sea at that point."

The landscape in Norfolk at the time would have been covered with thick forest and populated with dangerous predators such as sabre-toothed tigers and hyenas. However, it was also a rich hunting ground full of mammoths, bison, deer, and horses. The early humans living at the time would also have been able to walk to mainland Europe as one million years ago, Kent was connected to Germany.

http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/one-million-year-old-settlement-uncovered-britain-001217

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