Bristol and Avon Archaeological Society

Archaeology on line: Neanderthal Archaeology of Jersey and France

On Wednesday January 13, 2021
Dr. Matt Pope, UCL Institute of Archaeology

La Cotte de St Brelade in the Channel Island of Jersey is one of the most important Neanderthal sites in North-West Europe. It lies within a mostly submerged region encompassing the English Channel and surrounding coastal areas of France and England, known as La Manche palaeolandscape.

Discoveries of stone tools were first made from the site in 1881. Since then more stone tools and animal bones have been uncovered. Deposits date from around 250,000 years ago to younger than 47,000 years ago, making this one of the best sites for understanding Neanderthal behaviour and changes in climate and environment.

Excavations by a multi-disciplinary team have been ongoing since 2010. In 2019, the Ice Age Island Team, led by Dr Matt Pope and Dr Beccy Scott, were able to access part of La Cotte for the first time in 40 years.

In this lecture, the record of Neanderthal behaviour from La Cotte is considered against that of the wider region. It raises questions about population continuity or replacement with changes in climates, sea level and environments.

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