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Evidence for earliest Brits found at Happisburgh Norfolk

 
 
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2006 11:42 am
From Current Archaeology

200,000 years before Boxgrove Man, a hominid in what is now Norfolk used a handaxe to butcher a bison...

Quote:
The oldest evidence for humans in North West Europe has recently been discovered in East Anglia. the evidence consists, no t of human bones, but of flint tools - and animal bones showing signs of having been cut up by flint tools. These have been found in the Cromer Forest Beds.

For the past 140 years the Cromer Forest Beds (more correctly the Forest Bed Series) have been one of the most important, and one of the most controversial, features in British Palaeolithic archaeology. They consist of a dark layer containing fossilised animal and plant material that is found in many places along the Norfolk and part of the Suffolk coasts. What is important about them is that everywhere they underlied the thick clay, gravel and sand deposits that formthe cliffs in this part of the world and which were laid down by glaciations. The forest beds are therefore pre glacial, and if they contain flint tools, then those must date before the earliest glaciation i.e. the Anglian or Great Glaciation which swept down almost to the line of the present River Thames somewhere around 450,000 BC.


So now you know, early man was skinning chipping and chopping in England quite a while before the earth was created according to the religious texts.
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Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2006 11:49 am
Wow! Fascinating stuff, Steve.
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2006 11:51 am
No human remains, tho. It could have been a couple of prehistoric Frenchmen crossing the Channel on holiday, mugged a couple of deer, and went home.

Any pictures? Enlighten us more about Boxgrove Man.
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Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2006 11:51 am
Could they be early ancestors of the lord?
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2006 11:56 am
There were no photos Equus, Happisburgh Man (pronounced Hazeboro btw) was a few chops of a flint axe away from a 7 megapixel digital camera.

Regarding Lord Ellpus's hominid relatives, well I'll let him explain, he tells it better.
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Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2006 12:03 pm
Thank you Steve.

My family line goes back through the Normans and eventually ends up somewhere in Norway.

Until further research has been carried out, my earliest traceable ancestor seems to be Ellpus the Groper, who led a raid on a convent training school in Lindisfarne in about AD 800.

Extract from his diary, translated from Norse......."Landed at 9.30am, brewed up a cup of tea on the beach and headed off for the convent.
Groped everything for about six hours, and then rowed home.
A good day, all in all."

I suppose they could have been relatives......were there any signs of unusual practises?
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2006 12:19 pm
No Happisburgh man seems to have been quite normal in his habits, you know throwing rocks at wild animals, digging heffalump traps, and generally grunting a lot.

However nearby at sites known now by their generic terms 'butlin' or 'pontin' some most deviant behaviour is well documented. These strange night time rituals took place on feast or holy days and seem to have involved consumption of large quantities of an early fermented mead or beer.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2006 12:28 pm
From johnhawks.net
Quote:
Parfitt et al. (2005) report in Nature (subscription) on stone tool debitage from the Cromer Forest-bed Formation of southeastern England, dating to approximately 700,000 years ago. The story is that this is the oldest evidence for human habitation in anywhere northern Europe; i.e., north of Spain or Italy.

Here's the abstract:

The colonization of Eurasia by early humans is a key event after their spread out of Africa, but the nature, timing and ecological context of the earliest human occupation of northwest Europe is uncertain and has been the subject of intense debate. The southern Caucasus was occupied about 1.8 million years (Myr) ago, whereas human remains from Atapuerca-TD6, Spain (more than 780 kyr ago) and Ceprano, Italy (about 800 kyr ago) show that early Homo had dispersed to the Mediterranean hinterland before the BrunhesÐMatuyama magnetic polarity reversal (780 kyr ago). Until now, the earliest uncontested artefacts from northern Europe were much younger, suggesting that humans were unable to colonize northern latitudes until about 500 kyr ago. Here we report flint artefacts from the Cromer Forest-bed Formation at Pakefield (52¡ N), Suffolk, UK, from an interglacial sequence yielding a diverse range of plant and animal fossils. Event and lithostratigraphy, palaeomagnetism, amino acid geochronology and biostratigraphy indicate that the artefacts date to the early part of the Brunhes Chron (about 700 kyr ago) and thus represent the earliest unequivocal evidence for human presence north of the Alps (Parfitt et al. 2005:1008).

An accompanying editorial by Wil Roebroeks lays out the find much more readably than the paper itself:

About 700,000 years ago, Britain was connected to continental Europe, and the large rivers that drained central and eastern England meandered sluggishly into the North Sea basin. Sediments laid down by these lowland rivers are found today along the coastline of northern Suffolk and Norfolk. As the sediments were deposited, remains of animals and plants became trapped in them: large and small mammals, reptiles, molluscs, and even trees, fruits and seeds, after which the Cromer Forest-bed Formation was named. Parfitt et al. (page 1008 of this issue) show that, along with hippos, rhinos and elephants, early humans were evidently roaming the banks of these rivers. They did so during a warm interglacial period, and much earlier than hitherto thought for this part of Europe.
...
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2006 07:49 pm
thanks, I'll be back
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 10:46 am
Thanks Walter, I knew I could rely on you for sensible and illuminating input.
0 Replies
 
Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 11:48 am
What about MEEEE! I always supply good, sensible stuff on your threads, Steve.

I feel hurt, I tell you!
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 11:55 am
Oh you too E of course

after all the sensible stuff you supply the important bits that keep us sane thanks

better?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 11:55 am
You should bribe better and butter up more goal-oriented.
0 Replies
 
 

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