View Full Version : Neanderthals survived longer on british isles than thought

Prisoner Of Ice
11-04-2013, 01:52 AM

Scientists working on an archaeological dig in St Brelade said teeth found at La Cotte suggest Jersey was one of the last places Neanderthals lived.

The team of British archaeologists have unearthed items which show the presence of Stone Age hunters at the headland.

They said the finds were helping scientists understand more about the early relatives of modern humans.
Digging for archaeological remains The site contains the only known late Neanderthal remains from North West Europe

A large portion of the site contains sediments dating to the last Ice Age, preserving 250,000 years of climate change and archaeological evidence.

The site, which has produced more Neanderthal stone tools than the rest of the British Isles put together, contains the only known late Neanderthal remains from North West Europe.

Dr Matt Pope of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, who helped lead the research, said: "In terms of the volume of sediment, archaeological richness and depth of time, there is nothing else like it known in the British Isles.

"Given that we thought these deposits had been removed entirely by previous researchers, finding that so much still remains is as exciting as discovering a new site."

The team dated sediments at the site using a technique called optically stimulated luminesce, which measures the last time sand grains were exposed to sunlight.

Dr Pope said the results showed that part of the sequence of sediments dates between 100,000 and 47,000 years old, indicating that Neanderthal teeth which were discovered at the site in 1910 were younger than previously thought, and "probably belonged to one of the last Neanderthals to live in the region".

Professor Clive Gamble, from the University of Southampton and archaeology member of the Natural Environment Research Council, said: "Archaeologists need dates like an artist needs paint. Without a sound chronology the power of our other techniques for probing the past are severely restricted.

"This is a great step forward on what looks like being a fascinating journey."

The wider project, supported also by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Jersey Government, will continue to investigate the site and material excavated from it over the past 110 years.

Whoa, possibly as recent as 45K BC? We have "modern" humans going back almost that far on British isles! It's one bombshell after another lately, in the archaeology world, and I think the significance is mainly lost on news sources.

I wonder if they stayed through the ice ages or not, though? Must have been *extremel* cold, though during the glacial maximums you could walk right to the mainland. Sadly there's probably more neanderthal artifacts in the channel than there are in british isles themselves, since that would have been lush grassland at the time (and lots of artifacts have been drudged up by ships).

11-10-2013, 03:44 PM
I always suspected that Neanderthals had the red genes and that they are responsible for the red gene in humans. And judging from the reconstructions they look more Western than Eastern but not as North like Scandinavia.

11-10-2013, 03:47 PM
Jersey is much closer to France or Brittany, than it is to England. To claim the british isles, only just.

Prisoner Of Ice
11-10-2013, 08:19 PM
Back then it would all have been connected together, including Ireland. Also, a lot is lost because those coastal areas are now underwater and that was no doubt where the most populated areas were. In between england and belgium (which were also connected) there's been more artifacts than anywhere else.