The North-West Frontier: The Early Human Colonisation of Britain
with Dr Nick Ashton
in The Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
|10.00||Coffee on arrival|
|10.15||Conquering the north: the early colonisation of Britain. Britain contains the earliest evidence for humans in northern Europe at over 800,000 years ago. The talk will explain the new evidence from sites such as Pakefield and Happisburgh and explain how they fit into ideas on the early colonisation from southern Europe.|
|11.45||The environments and technology of early humans. East Anglia has a number of key sites for understanding the types of habitat that humans occupied during the Lower Palaeolithic between 800,000 and 300,000 years ago. The talk discusses how humans coped with a diversity of environments through the development of technologies such as fire, clothing and shelter.|
|14:00||Island Britain. At times Britain was simply a far-flung peninsula of north-west Europe, at other times an island. The changes in geography were caused through tectonics, climate change and the catastrophic creation of the Dover Strait. The talk discusses the huge impact on human populations entering Britain and the effects of isolation and at times local extinction.|
|15:15||Neanderthals. The caricature of Neanderthals as inept fools is dismissed through the discussion of their technology, skills as hunters and how unraveling of their DNA is bringing new surprises. They were one of the most successful species of human, but there are still unanswered questions as to whether modern humans were involved in their extinction 40,000 years ago.|
Dr Nick Ashton has worked at the British Museum for over 25 years where he has specialised in the early Palaeolithic of Europe. He has directed excavations at the Suffolk sites of High Lodge, Barnham, Elveden and Hoxne and is currently excavating at Happisburgh on the Norfolk coast. His main research interests are the earliest occupation of Europe, the innovation of technology through environmental change and the development of Britain as an island. He has published extensively on these topics and is currently Deputy Director of Leverhulme-funded Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project (AHOB).
Nick Ashton & Simon Lewis, “Deserted Britain: declining populations in the British Late Pleistocene”, Antiquity 76 (2002), 388-396.
Nick Barton, Stone Age Britain. (English Heritage & Batsford 1997).
John McNabb, The British Lower Palaeolithic. Stones in Contention. (Routledge 2007)
Simon Parfitt, Nick Ashton, & Simon Lewis, “Happisburgh”, British Archaeology (September/October 2010)
Chris Stringer, Homo Britannicus: The Incredible Story of Human Life in Britain (Allen Lane 2005; Penguin 2006).
Chris Stringer and Clive Gamble, In Search of Neanderthals. (Thames & Hudson 1993)
John Wymer. The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain. (Wessex Archaeology & English Heritage 1999).
Please phone or email to check the availability of places. Study Days are £38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)