University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Biological Anthropology Seminar Series > Fishermen, fossils and flints: varied approaches to targeting and investigating submerged Palaeolithic archaeology in the North Sea

Fishermen, fossils and flints: varied approaches to targeting and investigating submerged Palaeolithic archaeology in the North Sea

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Dramatic sea level fluctuations throughout the Pleistocene caused the intermittent exposure and submergence of continental shelves on a global scale, with implications for hominin dispersals and occupation. For Britain these changes were particularly important as they resulted in either insularity from, or peninsularity of, the continental mainland, with the North Sea basin submerged and exposed respectively. Sitting at the peripheries of the Palaeolithic world, the record from these now submerged landscapes is thus crucial to our interpretation of the changing nature of hominin interaction with these environments and landscapes through time. Our understanding of these areas, however, relies on an ability to investigate them, which is severely limited by the difficulties of predicting their locations. As such, despite the huge increase in commercial development of the offshore zone, we know remarkably little about these drowned landscapes. This talk will present recent, ongoing work that is attempting to redress this problem, with a variety of methods and approaches being developed to help us target and investigate sites. In particular, sites offshore Clacton, Essex and Happisburgh, Norfolk, will be discussed, providing evidence for one of the earliest known underwater sites.

This talk is part of the Biological Anthropology Seminar Series series.

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