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Sites with Lower Palaeolithic



Lower Palaeolithic industries in Britain are characterized by bifacial hand-axes of the Acheulean variety. These tools are made by removing flakes to produce a tool from a stone core, sometimes with a hammerstone but more often with a bone, antler, or piece of wood. Most Lower Palaeolithic tools are flaked symmetrically on both sides.

The British Lower Palaeolithic also includes the Clactonian industry, which was first identified at Clacton, Essex. At Clacton these flake tools were found in association with objects made out of materials other than stone, such as the spectacular Clacton wooden spear. Whether Clactonian tools represent a truly different industry, or indeed a different human culture, than other Lower Palaeolithic artefacts is a matter of some debate. At several British sites, notably at Swanscombe, Clactonian tools seem to appear first in the sequence to be replaced later by typical Lower Palaeolithic tools. If Clactonian tools are associated with a different culture, then this evidence suggest that Clactonians were the first to colonize Britain as the Great Interglacial, the Hoxnian, began and that they were followed by other, distinct peoples. Unfortunately, no skeletal remains have yet been found in association with Clactonian tools.

Lower Palaeolithic type tools have been produced by H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, and, in Africa, H. sapiens.

Sites with Lower Palaeolithic

  Site Name County MIS Natl Grid Taxa Sources Photos
  Barnham Suffolk 11 TL875786 49 10 12
  Elveden Suffolk 11 TL809804 12 6 4
  Foxhall Road Suffolk 11 TM18484385 5 5
  Hoxne Suffolk 11a TM 17535 76692 33 17 12
  Southfleet Road Kent 11 TQ6116973270 34 6 2
  Swanscombe (Barnfield Pit) Kent 11 TQ 59787 74506 32 19 13
  Boxgrove West Sussex 13 SU919087 56 60 28
  Happisburgh 1 Norfolk 13 TG388306 15 8 17
  High Lodge Suffolk 13 TL 73918 75391 8 12 7
  Westbury Somerset 15? ST5080450387 60 19 4
  Pakefield Suffolk 17 52 20 13
  Happisburgh 3 Norfolk 21 TG3807531318 21 6 18
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