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Jersey site that was last Neanderthal home studied

An ice age site said to be one of the last known places Neanderthals lived is being studied to assess storm damage.

Jersey site that was last Neanderthal home studied
More Neanderthal artefacts have been found at La Cotte de St Brelade than
in the rest of the British Isles [Credit: BBC]
La Cotte in St Brelade, Jersey, was hit by south-westerly storms including winds of up to 100mph in February.

A British archaeological team commissioned by the Societe Jersiaise will examine the storm damage.

Dr Matt Pope, from the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, said it needed to consider the best solution for long-term preservation.

La Cotte has been investigated since the late 19th Century and has produced a number of finds including hundreds of thousands of Neanderthal tools, piles of butchered mammoth bones and fossilised human remains.

Jersey site that was last Neanderthal home studied
Archaeologists believe Jersey has the potential to tell more about the story of the
deeper evolutionary past of humans in Northern Europe [Credit: BBC]
Dr Pope said: "We have isolated an area of the cave in which the recent storms have removed some of the sediment and removed some of the boulders protecting the sediment from further erosion.

"This is probably the most important ice age site in northern Europe. Any threat to it is a serious concern to the academic community and the island."

Neil Molyneux, President of the Societe, said the site was in a very exposed location.

"The scale of this year's storms was such that it required a proactive response to the management of the site," he said.

"This assessment, funded directly by the Societe, is the first stage in that process. The second stage will be the removal of deposits at risk which will be undertaken in conjunction with Jersey Heritage."

Source: BBC News Website [February 25, 2014]

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  1. It is fascinating that this late Neanderthal site is in such an exposed and inhospitable location. The implications are expansive for the directions of research. Thank you for a remarkable read. I can't wait to hear more.

  2. I thought the last European Neanderthals had been in the Iberian peninsula. Often that area happens to be sidelined or even ignored.
    It's surprising that many students - for example - never heard of Celtic groups in Iberia. Moving east and north...

  3. Jersey is exactly where one can expect to find Neanderthal remains if the intercontinental dispersal of Pleistocene Homo simply followed the coasts & rivers, see the proceedings of the symposium (with David Attenborough & Don Johanson) on human waterside evolution ‘Human Evolution: Past, Present & Future’ (London 8-10 May 2013) published in 2 special editions of Human Evolution:
    Special Edition Part 1 (end 2013)
    - Peter Rhys-Evans: Introduction
    - Stephen Oppenheimer: Human's Association with Water Bodies: the 'Exaggerated Diving Reflex' and its Relationship with the Evolutionary Allometry of Human Pelvic and Brain Sizes
    - JH Langdon: Human Ecological Breadth: Why Neither Savanna nor Aquatic Hypotheses can Hold Water
    - Stephen Munro: Endurance Running versus Underwater Foraging: an Anatomical and Palaeoecological Perspective
    - Algis Kuliukas: Wading Hypotheses of the Origin of Human Bipedalism
    - Marc Verhaegen: The Aquatic Ape Evolves: Common Misconceptions and Unproven Assumptions about the So-Called Aquatic Ape Hypothesis
    - CL Broadhurst & Michael Crawford: The Epigenetic Emergence of Culture at the Coastline: Interaction of Genes, Nutrition, Environment and Demography.
    -econiche Homo
    -Rhys Evans Vaneechoutte


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