The Ice Age Island team would like to wish everyone a very happy 2015!
We are looking forward to our sixth field season in Jersey and have already begun the planning of what we intend to be our biggest year of fieldwork yet. Working with Jersey Heritage and the Société Jersiaise, we hope to bring you new discoveries and new ways to get to see Jersey’s exceptional Ice Age past.
2014 saw us get to grips with the late glacial, modern hunter gatherer site at Les Varines where Ed Blinkhorn oversaw the excavation of our super-trench, getting us safely down three meters and back over 14,000 years in time.
We surveyed areas of ice age geology exposed at low tide, most spectacularly with Dominic Jones as our guide around Seymour Tower, establishing the potential to investigate archaeology and palaeo-environmental evidence there. At La Cotte, Fliquet, on Les Miniquiers and off-shore at St Clement, we assessed the damaging effects of storms on the fragile geology.
On the North Coast excavations led by Chantal Conneller identified new concentrations of Mesolithic archaeology on the cliffs above the Devil’s Hole and Josie Mills and Sarah Duffy undertook condition and 3D photogrammtry surveys of the cave at La Cotte a la Chevre.
In the UK we are halfway through a programme of with Marie-Anne Julien, Andy Shaw, Beccy Scott and Matt Pope undertaking detailed analysis of the artefacts, fauna and archives from La Cotte de St Brelade.
2014 saw the publication of our open access New View of La Cotte paper (http://antiquity.ac.uk/ant/088/ant0880013.htm), calling into question the idea that La Cotte was used to drive mammoths herds to their death, our work on this also featured in the Natural History Museum exhibition Britain: One Million Years. In 2015 we’ll be in the exciting position of being able to start presenting the results of our new analysis, showing why La Cotte de St Brelade provides such an important window on Neanderthal behaviour.
Our work has been widely shared on Jersey through the Ice Age Island exhibition at La Hougue Bie, on TV with repeats of our contributions to the Ice Age Giants documentary (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p018cc8p), the Natural History Museum’s mini-doc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqHMznHE-a0), articles in the press and even Wired Magazine’s coverage of our laser scan of the site.
We couldn’t have achieved this without the incredible support we get from our colleagues and friends on Jersey and back in the UK, we are really looking forward to sharing our work and results with you through 2015 and welcoming you to our excavations on Jersey in July.