One million-year-old settlement in Britain

One million-year-old settlement uncovered in Britain

(Read the article on one page)

Archaeologists believe they have found the birthplace of British civilisation , and it is underneath a £15-a-night caravan park in Norfolk, England.   Discoveries at the site include one million-year-old artefacts and fossilised 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 from our predecessors, it is believed the site currently lying beneath Manor Caravan Park in Happisburgh, Norfolk, was a settlement created by early human relatives, 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.

Watch Video: Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story

By April Holloway

Comments

Maybe this will turn out to be the "real" Piltdown Man

I am interested in hearing about your discoveries. Thank you.

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Human Origins

Adam and Eve (1640s) by Jacob Jordaens.
The common male and female ancestors of human beings are popularly known as “Genetic Adam” and “Genetic Eve.” A study conducted by researchers at the University of Sheffield claims all men can trace their origins to one male ancestor, ‘Adam’, who lived approximately 209,000 years ago. This places ‘Adam’ within the same time frame as ‘Eve’ - the ‘mother of all women’ – and provides evidence for the existence of a prehistoric ‘Adam and Eve.’

Ancient Technology

A cowboy boot in a horse’s stirrup.
Seemingly simple, yet oh so significant - the stirrup is an invention that changed the history of the world. The emergence of the stirrup revolutionized the way horses were ridden and consequently re-shaped transportation. In fact, this invention played an important role in some key historical events and empire building.

Ancient Places

The eerie mansion that is today known as Loftus Hall.
Driving along the isolated road that runs down the scenic Hook Peninsula in Ireland’s Ancient East, it is easy to spot the mansion that has earned itself the reputation as the most haunted house in Ireland. If ever a building fit the stereotype of a home haunted by its bloody and tragic past, this was it...

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article