Key findings and results of the AHOB Project
The AHOB team has published over 150 papers.
Britain has one of the richest, but still underappreciated, records of early human history in the world.
Because of its special position in relation to the Atlantic and Europe, Britain had some of the most extreme changes of environments, plants and animals over the last 700,000 years.
Key findings from Pakefield were published in Nature last year showing human occupation had begun by 700,000 years ago.
Early Britons had to cope with the extreme changes of climate, but at least seven times they apparently failed to do so and died out completely.
Thus there was probably no continuity of occupation between the populations represented by Pakefield, Boxgrove, Swanscombe, Pontnewydd, Kent’s Cavern/Paviland, and Gough’s Cave.
Britain and the British people of today are new arrivals – products of only the last 12,000 year.
The nature of early human occupation was contingent on continuing changes in geography and environments, and on the source of human populations, whether from northern or southern Europe.
The whole project has helped greatly improve our understanding of the timing and nature of the British Middle Palaeolithic (the neanderthals), which while still very shadowy is at least now seen as a distinct period worth studying. The Dating program led by Roger Jacobi has been especially important in this.
A mid-project symposium was held in
September, 2003 to report on ongoing research on project
sites, data interpretation, and preliminary results. Abstracts
from those presentations are available here. [Abstracts].
of places, items, and fossils related to the Ancient Human
Occupation of Britain project.
Tentative correlation of Quaternary chronology with key
British sites, archaeological industries, palaeogeography,
and major warm periods and ice advances for the past 700,000
years. Many aspects of this model, specifically the number
of episodes of lowland glaciation, the timing of the separation
of Britain from the continental landmass, and correlation
of sites with the marine Oxygen Isotope Stages, are speculative.
The elucidation of these problems and their impact on
the Key Research Questions
are the main objectives of the AHOB project.